LaShondra's mentor, Cathy, characterizes her as tenacious: “After some initial success in passing some of the sections [of the GED test], several sections were proving to be much more difficult challenges, such as math and science. . . . She contemplated giving up after failing some of the tests for a second time. However, she recognized what an incredible opportunity CWJC’s program afforded her.”
CWJC, or Christian Women’s Job Corps, was founded by WMU in 1997. The ministry, which has expanded to include Christian Men’s Job Corps (CMJC), serves thousands of individuals through nearly 200 registered sites in 23 states and 5 countries by utilizing a two-pronged holistic,strengths-based approach of mentoring and discipleship. This all-inclusive method produces a holistic approach to life change, allowing individuals to understand that wholeness is a by-product of daily, personal decisions of behavior modification and thought transformation, outworked through a disciplined relationship with God and people.
LaShondra—a mother of 2 boys, a full-time employee at a job she has held for 11 years, and a full-time student—is dedicated to improving her life and her children’s lives. She initially heard of CWJC in passing and decided to enroll at age 18; however, she did not complete the program. “When I was 18 years old, I discovered CWJC through the local information. It seemed like a good idea, so I decided to enroll in the program. Unfortunately, I did not stay at CWJC because my mind wasn’t where it should have been,” she confessed.
God orchestrated that LaShondra would find CWJC again in June 2013. “At the age of 31, I decided my life wasn’t where it should be. I just wanted better for myself and my kids. I was exploring the Internet looking for a place to study my GED and came across CWJC. . . . It had grown so much bigger,” she wrote in her testimony about the program.
LaShondra completed her goal of passing her GED test November 21, 2015. As a graduate, she was nominated by her mentor—whom LaShondra identifies as one of her best friends—and Tracey Gholson—Nashville program director for Begin Anew, the CWJC site serving the Middle Tennessee area—for the Faye Dove Scholarship Award. The award is given to an outstanding graduate who has demonstrated perseverance in achieving personal goals, with a plan for continued education. She will use the scholarship that comes with the award to further her education and training in an administrative office technology program.
Help a CWJC/CMJC site in your area or state. Discover the needs of the site and provide a needs list to your congregation prior to Focus on WMU week. Ask church members to bring the needed items on Focus on WMU Sunday. Share a verbal or written story about how CWJC/CMJC through the power of Jesus Christ transforms the lives of participants.
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