“Blessed.” That’s the way Teresa has described her current life on multiple occasions. A motivated self-starter, Teresa owned her own in-home licensed daycare that she ran with the help of her children from 1995 to 2008. After an early onset stroke left her unable to work and perform many basic life functions, Teresa chose the path of greatest recovery. Working with doctors, therapists and other recovery specialists, Teresa made a thorough recovery and was eager to get back into the workforce, which led to her decision to join forces with CIP’s Supported Employment Services.
In beginning to work with Amy, her Employment Consultant, Teresa explained that she wanted a position that would give her a chance to get out of the house, that would aid her in being an active, contributing member of society, and that would give her a creative outlet that she had not had in years. Matter of factly, Teresa informed Amy, “I am no longer who I was. I need this [job] for my soul”. Though Teresa has many areas of interests and skills, it became clear almost immediately that her passion for working with children is as strong as it ever was and that this was what she is most interested in pursuing. She acknowledged that she had been out of the childcare field for a long time, so she would be willing to do other jobs and work her way up to being a teacher again.
During an impromptu stop at a prominent childhood development center in the Twin Cities, Teresa found a place that she is now elated to call her second home. Teresa and Amy went there on a routine informational interview with the intent of learning more about the company—the latest best practices in the field, and the ‘language’ of childcare, which Teresa pointed out seems to change every few years or so. Despite the fact that the director made clear that the location is not currently hiring, Teresa made such a positive impression during the meeting that she was offered the position as a part-to-full time teacher’s aide that would travel from classroom-to-classroom as needed.
For Teresa, life is all about chances to learn, grow and to improve herself and the world around her. Now that she is back in the world of childcare, she has decided to go back to school to get her Child Development Associate licensure so that she may once again move her way up to lead teacher. To her great surprise and excitement, the center has graciously offered to pay at least a portion of her schooling because it directly relates to increasing her on-the-job skill-set. “Blessed” is certainly one way to put it, but one could also point out the patience, drive, tenacity, and spirit that Teresa has exhibited which ultimately has led to her success in life as well as in the job search!