Because CWC is a relationship-based program designed to give clients the support they need to become self-sufficient, we rely on mentors and Core Employers along with our staff to be the three pillars of our program. When all three pillars are in place, we see tremendous growth in our clients.

Sheila Murray is a CWC client who graduated in May of this year. Looking back to when she started her journey at OPEN M, Sheila said, “I wasn’t sure if I could work full time.” She went on to say that her mentor, Jackie, has been a huge encouragement and has become a close friend she can depend on. Sheila also spoke about the tools CWC gave her and the support she has felt from our staff. She’s been employed since July by Yolanda and Russ Neal at Graffitti Print Shop in Akron. She voiced her gratitude toward them for seeing her instead of focusing on the barriers she’s had to overcome and “having faith in another human being.”

Of Sheila, Yolanda told me, “I don’t think anything happens by chance. She was meant to be here. She’s the cream of the crop.” Yolanda went on singing Sheila’s praises and said, “She isn’t the first employee we’ve hired with these barriers. It all comes down to the interview and your gut feeling about someone.”

We believe that Sheila always had it inside herself to be successful; she just needed some encouragement and guidance. We are so blessed to have community partnerships with Core Employers like Graffitti and mentors like Jackie who look beyond barriers to the potential of our graduates.

Congratulations to Sheila for her hard work and dedication. She’s truly an inspiration!

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