Fifty volunteers, donors, staff, clients and Board Members celebrated MND's quarterly ENGAGE Event on October 19th by looking at how time, talent and treasure impact lives at Maryland New Directions. Our Reverse Connections Friday panel allowed four of our former clients to share directly about MND's impact on their and their children's lives. Leia, 21, described how an administrative internship with MND provided her with the confidence and formal experience she needed to land a Customer Service Representative position with BGE, as well as the continued role her Job Coach Andrea has played, helping her to deal with the stresses and difficulty of her work. William, 54, highlighted MND’s assistance as a critical tool to helping him secure employment despite having a disability. He described how MND helped him to talk effectively about himself and how that led to a culinary career and a happier, more secure life. Shamia, 32, spoke about the lack of direction she felt as a young college student and the difficulty she had finding decent work as a single mother of two, as well as the low-paying, dehumanizing positions she was forced to accept because of her limited schedule. Now employed as a Longshorewoman at the Port of Baltimore after completing MND’s Maritime training program last October, she thanked MND for the security and direction that quality employment has provided for her and her family. She proudly shared that for the first time ever she and her children were moving into their own apartment in October. Brandi, 40, talked of her initial desire to become a registered nurse, and how she used to spend hours at the library, filling out applications to no avail. At MND she not only acquired the tools to land a job, but found out what she really wanted to do. Now working as an interim supervisor in the workforce development field for the past two years, Brandi is using the lessons she learned at MND to help others looking for work as well as her son, helping him to find his own direction and define his own occupational goals. While Leia, William, Shamia, and Brandi have all found success in the workplace in the past 4 years, their stories highlight the different ways each of them reached their goal and the diverse assistance MND offers to our clients. We are proud of their hard work and willingness to share their stories and their lives with the larger MND family!
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