Success Stories: Tonya

Tonya has made an arduous journey, and anyone trying to hold her back now would have better luck stopping a thirty-car freight train. 

Tonya was working as a Certified Nursing Assistant until 2004, when an illness cost her both her health and her job. She had spent a career caring for others, but now no one was there to care for her. She was homeless and jobless, until finally, after five agonizing years, Tonya was referred to the Women’s Housing Coalition (WHC). Then, everything changed.

WHC’s Women Working Wonders program offers 25 women living at the house intensive employment development training. After a thorough skills assessment, an 8-week course is custom-designed for each woman. Two experienced corporate job coaches then lead small group and one-on-one sessions that cover everything from goal-setting to resume writing, giving the women the skills they need to find fulfilling work that can jumpstart a career.

“The Women’s Housing Coalition helped me when no one else would, not even my family,” Tonya says. “After I get through my studies, I’d like to give back and help others like me.”

Currently Tonya is completing the Stafford Career Institute's Drug & Alcohol Counseling online degree. Next she plans to pursue another degree in Social Work so she can give children the right help early on. Thanks to WHC and supporters, Tonya and her fellow “women working wonders” are cruising down the tracks—and they’re not turning back! 

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