Volume 1903• Issue 46• March 2019
Against all odds, barriers are being overcome
Against all odds, a young woman has been doing what would probably fit in the category of “low probability” to make a better life for her and her four small children. However, this determined young woman is proving that determination and effort can combine to overcome difficult circumstances and achieve personal goals one step at a time.
Cha Brown dropped out of high school in the ninth grade when she first became a mother of a precious little girl. She now has four little girls and one step-son and is finally beginning to see light at the end of a dark tunnel that began eight years ago.
“I was jobless when I first came here,” she said, referring to the Families First for Mississippi facility in Fulton. She wanted to go back to school and she wanted to launch a career but child care was always one of the obstacles. “A friend told me about this program,” she continued. “This staff, these people, are amazing! Every single one is supportive and caring.” Child care is provided by the center while she works on her studies, another free service provided by people who care. Actually, all FFFM services are at no charge to the clients who take this hand of friendship.
Cha Brown has been working on earning her high school equivalency through the HiSet program administered in the Fulton Center by Itawamba Community College. Buddy Collins, Regional Coordinator, said with pride, “She has only one part left!” Brown has passed all other sections and is right at the point of completion. She said that she never misses coming to the center to pursue her studies and that her children love being there.
Brown is now a manager at Little Ceasar’s Pizzeria and has the opportunity for advancement with that company in the near future. With a little help from some friends, she is on her way. Sometimes, that way is with the help of people who care and for whom a job is more of a calling than a job.
That is the definition of Families First for Mississippi (FFFM): people who care. Of course, FFFM is an organization. It is an organization that exists to give a hand up to a young woman who wants to earn pass the HiSET so that she can advance in a career pathway to a position of “livable” income. This young woman and all the others served by FFFM can reach across barriers and accept the hand of friendship through many programs that were developed for one simple reason: to improve lives in Mississippi. One of those programs is through education.
Her story is touching because she is on the pathway to success. Without the services of studying at FFFM and the child care available during her evening study time, she said she was afraid she might not have been able to do this.
Against all odds, she is making it! There is light at the end of the tunnel and the people who care (her support and facilitators at FFFM) are so proud to share this story about this young woman about whom they care.
Kiana Davis publishes her story about personal growth
(issue #3) http://mintinc-usa.com/mintmag/
Many social workers from around the area will meet at the BancorpSouth Conference Center on April 4th to continue their education on how to identify and provide guidance to children who have been abused and their parents. Those successfully completing the course work will be eligible for educational credits.
KICK BUTT DAY: Framing a Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids
The Kick Butt Day was designed to empower youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against “Big Tobacco.” Shatara Agnew heads the Tobacco Free program for Lee and Chickasaw Counties for The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRC) and was onsite at the Okolona Vocational Technical Center on March 20th to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids works to save lives through advocacy for public policies that will prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect other from secondhand smoke.
Working with her was a group of concerned students along with a crew of community leaders.
Joining Agnew in the campaign were Okalona Mayor Sherman R. Carouthers; Economic Development Liaison Patsy Gregory; Teachers: Trena Smith-Patrick, Tomeker Hodges, Danielle Houk; Councilmen: Kelvin Standfield, Bennett Moore; and Superintendent Dexter Green.
Beds for Kids brings people together and brings people out. Chick-fil-A generously agreed to provide a percentage of profits from an evening’s sales on March 25th to the Beds for Kids program. The community came out to buy their favorite chicken meal and support this program that provides beds for kids that have no bed. The funds will be used for bedding accessories for beds that are placed in these homes.
Among those present at the event were Christi Webb (left), Executive Director of Families First for Mississippi North which provides the Beds for Kids program. Judy Huddleston and her husband, Stanley Huddleston (Coordinator of the Beds for Kids program) were with Janet Turman and Anthony Mitchell were also at Chick-fil-A to kick the event off.
Information about the Beds for Kids program is available at https://www.frcnms.org/bedsforkids.
Pictured here are (left to right) Lucas Foley (Chick-fil-A Safety and Compliance Director), Chick-fil-A Restaurant Owner Jamey Finley and the FRC Beds for Kids team: Anthony Mitchell (back), Stanley Huddleston, Janet Turman (back), Amy Bratton and Audrey Cunningham.