Imagine being a married homeowner with small children and a steady job in customer service. Life seems very stable, almost routine. But after a divorce and job loss leaves you unable to pay rent, simple things are needed to survive and it’s not always easy to be an advocate for yourself and your family.
For Amanda Lewis, her hardship was overwhelming, but during that time she learned about the Youth Leadership Program at Bethany House through her daughter’s school and enrolled her daughter in the program. Not long after they were living with family and the situation had become more challenging.
Amanda knew she needed to get full time employment, or at least get more education so she would qualify for better positions. Without enough money for school and without childcare for her 3, 10 and 12-year-old kids, she knew she had to do something, but didn’t know where to turn.
It was at a Brighton Center back-to-school backpack event where she met Christina and Jessica, who talked with her about options for affordable housing and introduced her to the Ready to Work program at Gateway Community and Technical College, which would allow her to use previous college credits, work at the college and go to school.
In September of 2019, began working and taking classes toward a college degree in public relations. In December of 2019, she was able to move into NKY Scholar House, where her three-year-old attends daycare on site.
“I owe so much to the Ready to Work program and Brighton Center,” Amanda said. “It’s truly an amazing support system and they’ve thought of all the things I need to be successful. From helping me with housing, to financial support for school, to childcare I couldn’t have done it without them.
COVID-19 affected the in-person classes and work arrangements for Amanda, but she takes online classes and is on track to transfer to NKU in the spring of 2021. “Even during COVID the team at Brighton has been awesome. They check in with me, support me and make sure my kids have great activities and educational materials so we can stay on track.”