I was referred to the Career Family Opportunity (CFO) program through a friend of my mother. Originally I thought the program was to solely help with my dream of owning my own home. Later, I’ve come to realize that it is so much more than that.
I found the CFO program very helpful in understanding where I was in life and where I wanted to be. The mentor assigned to me, Sarah, was remarkable in listening to my needs and then helping me to find resources that my family could benefit from.
Sometimes I felt like no matter how hard I worked or how ambitious I was, I was never going to get ahead. Most people I knew, didn’t own their own home, didn’t continue their education beyond high school and weren’t “living” their lives in the most enjoyable way, mainly due to financial reasons, I wanted to break that cycle for me and my family.
Sarah was assigned to me as my mentor for the duration of my five years in the program. When I first met with Sarah as an official program participant, she sat with me and we went over the Bridge Assessment. We continued to meet one on one on a monthly basis and she would check to see how I was doing and follow up with me in terms of school, kids, housing, employment, well-being, etc. At those monthly meetings we would also set goals to help me get closer to obtaining the life that I wanted for me and my family. Some of the goals were seeking therapy for myself, advocating for my kids, joining a gym, completing school, getting the help my son needed to complete school and negotiating my wages, just to name a few.
The good thing about the goal setting (other than the incentives) is that they are tailored to you, your needs and how comfortable you are. Sometimes if a goal seemed too great of a task then we would figure out ways to break them down into smaller goals but still reaching the same outcome. The goals also have deadlines associated with them to help motivate you to complete them. But that didn’t mean in a week or two, they were at your own pace, if you need a month or two that is fine, if you need 6 months to a year that is fine as well. It was based on the goal and the person not some predetermined requirement.
I have nothing but great things to say about the CFO program! When I first started the program I was struggling in school, I had strained relationships with my kids and I didn’t have the confidence to network and express what I wanted rather than what I thought I should be doing. I was uncertain of my future. I feared for my youngest son’s life and thought my oldest son would never get out of high school. Today I am very pleased to say that I have a great relationship with my kids, they are doing well, and I am doing much better mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially.
Charell graduated from the CFO program in June 2019, having obtained a job exceeding her self-sufficient wage and building her assets to over $10,000.