In September 2011, I found myself unemployed. After seven and a half years with York County Community Action, my job was eliminated. I felt “Why me?” I was close to retirement, but not quite ready to stop working – and honestly, I did not want to retire early. As time went on, I got more and more discouraged. Even though I had years of experience, it was no longer enough. Employers wanted more. Many jobs were looking for people with an Associate or Bachelor’s degree. At that time, I realized that I had to make a change!
Along with becoming unemployed, I was facing some personal challenges in my life. I had to juggle many obstacles between family and school. I knew that I had to persevere and focus to achieve my goals.
Finally, I contacted my local Adult Education to see if I could sign up for courses. They referred me to the Saco/Old Orchard Learning Center where I took two courses, Algebra and English, to prepare myself for college life. Graduation from these classes was scheduled for June 2012. Two weeks prior to graduation, I received a letter stating that I was selected for the National Honor Society. I was very pleased and proud, to say the least! Later, I also received a letter offering me one free course and text book through the OSHER II Scholarship. I signed up! I’m now enrolled in a College Writing course through the University of Maine, Saco.
To add to my positive experiences, I was also offered a paid training experience at Goodwill Workforce Solutions through SCSEP (Senior Community Service Employment Program). This employment and training program is offered to mature workers (55 and older). As they say, age is an asset and experience is a benefit! Through this program, I built confidence, learned new skills, received paid training and gained new work experience. I am an administrative assistant at Goodwill Workforce Solutions in Biddeford, where I answer phones, greet people, assist people with their job search, make copies and send faxes, assemble application packets and many other projects.
I’ve had a lot of good things happen! You have to make it happen! My advice is take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Always believe in yourself and remember that when one door closes, another will open!
*Read an article about Patricia in the Journal Tribune (Biddeford, Maine)