Erica's Story

Every morning at 3 a.m., Erica* begins her day. She wakes up and readies herself for the same full-time cashier job she has diligently held for 11 years. She awakens her two young sons once she is ready, drives them to her mother’s house, and reports to work by 4 a.m. After work, she picks up her sons and returns to her apartment to prepare for the same schedule the next day.

After 11 years and minimal pay raises, Erica knew something had to change. She wanted more for her children than the life she had now; she wanted to provide them with a home and a bright future. She began researching options to help prepare herself for the high school equivalency test. During that research, she stumbled upon something from her past.

When Erica was 18 years old, she discovered a program called Christian Women’s Job Corps. This ministry presented women with opportunities to better themselves through job and life skills training. Without a driver’s license or the resources to obtain one, Erica was having a difficult time securing full-time work. Through her local CWJC site, she was able to obtain her license and find a job. However, Erica chose not to complete the CWJC program and dropped out after six months. Looking back now, she says, “Unfortunately, I did not stay at CWJC because my mind wasn’t where it should have been.”

But Erica’s journey with Christian Women’s Job Corps was far from over.

Eleven years later, she once again was presented with the opportunity to transform her life with CWJC. In 2013, she enrolled for the second time. This time, she was determined to take full advantage of the opportunities granted to her through this program. And it was through her determination that her story began to change.

Every morning at 3 a.m., Erica begins her day. She still wakes up, readies herself for work, and drives her sons to her mother’s house. She still reports to work by 4 a.m. But now, her day does not end after work. She drives her sons to the CWJC site and faithfully spends her nights studying and preparing for her future.

She excelled in the early stages of her academic pursuit, but she became discouraged after failing a couple of tests. But Erica refused to give up. Her mentor once called her “tenacious,” and that tenacity soon enabled her to rally and press on toward her goal. On November 1, 2015, she passed her high school equivalency test.

Those at CWJC recognized Erica’s extraordinary persistence and nominated her for the Faye Dove Scholarship to enable her to further pursue her education. She showed great interest in the fields of office administration and technology and expressed her desire to one day become a homeowner. She was granted the scholarship and soon began classes at a local community college.

However, Erica continued to face obstacles in her pursuit of a better life. During her first semester, a professor recommended that she “drop out until she learns to read.” Through her own willpower and the continual support of those at her CWJC site, she completed her first semester with one A and one B. Her youngest son was recently determined to be on the autism spectrum, and the new skills and resources she has received through CWJC will allow her to better provide for his future and the future of her family.

Erica’s story is one of redemption and second chances. God moved in mysterious ways to unite a bright, hardworking woman and the resources she needed to transform her life through CWJC. It is our prayer that one day soon Erica’s day will no longer begin in her apartment at 3 a.m. It is our prayer that her day will begin with waking up in a home with her family, then driving to a great job that appreciates how truly exceptional she is, and end by spending time with her children, knowing she is fully loved and fully known by her Creator. We look forward to seeing all of the wonderful things Erica will continue to accomplish in the future.

*Name of participant has been changed

Kaylee Poston is a University of Montevallo student and is an intern with the Adult Resource Team and WorldCrafts Team. She is incredibly excited to be sharing the stories of God’s incredible faithfulness through the ministries of WMU.





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