The Steel Valley Family Center shares success stories from families at their program.
One of our family success stories in achieving her goals is Angel. Angel had belonged to the center when her older children were young. Her older children had aged out of the program and then she got pregnant with her youngest daughter and returned to the center. Through the use of goal planning during home visits, Angel expressed that she wanted to go back to school so she could get a better job to support her children. Angel’s family development specialist told her about the Health Professional Opportunity Grant (HPOG) program through the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) that she learned about from her lead agency the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.
Angel looked into the program through the help of her family development specialist and decided that she wanted to go to school for medical billing and coding. With the help of her Family Development Specialist (FDS), Angel applied to and was accepted to the HPOG Program. The HPOG Program will help Angel to pay for child care for her children and help her to provide transportation to the program.
The family center helped Angel with her transportation needs to get to her orientation for the program. Our van driver took Angel to these appointments until she got her bus pass from the program. We helped Angel to find a reliable daycare to send the children to when she was at her classes. Her FDS also helped Angel to sign up her youngest daughter for the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Early Head Start Program and her son for the Head Start classroom.
Angel is on track to graduate from the HPOG program with a certification in medical billing and coding within the next few months. Angel is currently working at the student book store where she just got a promotion to Team Lead. Upon completion of her program Angel will work with counselors at CCAC to obtain a position in the medical field. This will allow Angel to better provide for her and her family.
Another success story where a family overcame obstacles and achieved her goals is Ashley. Ashley became involved with the center as a referral from Maternal Family Health. She had post-partum with her youngest son. She has stated that home visiting helped her with her post-partum. When she first started she was not very involved with the center then she became comfortable with her FDS.
Ashley enrolled her children in AIU’s Early Head Start and Head Start. She became a policy council member for her son’s AIU’s Early Head Start and Head Start. Through home visiting and assessments Ashley was able to receive the Early Intervention Services needed for her son. He has just recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her FDS has attended IEP meetings with Ashley as well as meetings for her son’s wrap-around services.
Ashley had a setback with issues regarding housing and her goal became to find adequate housing. Her FDS and the center assisted her in searching for housing. We provided a housing list and searched on the internet. Ashley persevered and was able to find adequate housing for her and her family.
Another goal Ashley had was to obtain a better job. Her FDS helped her with making a resume and apply to different agencies. The center provided her time and a computer to take the assessment test and trainings needed for the job she applied for. As a result Ashley achieved her goal and is now employed at the job she always wanted. Ashley is now looking forward to furthering her education.
Ashley is now a very involved family at the center. She has stated that she believes in what we do and how we have helped her a lot. Due to the confidence she has gained by being involved with the center, Ashley wanted to start her own summer mentoring program for the children in the Homestead community. It is called Meet Me in the Park. The center supported Ashley in achieving the startup of her program by helping her with fliers and making copies. The center put fliers in the newsletter and helped Ashley write a proposal for the Homestead Borough Council. Ashley was approved by the borough and had her first Meet Me in the Park this past summer.
Ashley has become our parent council president and the attendance increased. She has become an avid recruiter for the center. Due to her leadership roles here at the center she has become a strong advocate for kids and their education.