Bright Beginnings’ programs provide a positive impact on families and the community.
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“I have learned to take care of my baby better and how to bond with him more. Also, I learned how to keep him safe, and ways to support him financially. I learned how his body works and how to control my emotions around him,” Mother of 1 year old son.
“So far I have learned to basically raise a healthy child. In this program, I have understood better what a child feels and goes through. Thanks to (family support worker) I have also understood I’m a mother now and need to have patience for my baby,” Mother of 17 month old son.
“I have learned it’s important to keep up with immunizations. I also have learned how to be a better mother and how to better control myself to handle my kids,” Mother of 18 month old daughter.
“(The program) supported me and my family in a way to learn more about my kids and what I’m supposed to know month-to-month. It’s been a great help and support! I love my support worker; she is so nice and friendly,” Mother of 1 year old son.
Melissa Caban is a very caring, working mother. She is closely involved in all aspects of her daughter’s life. When Melissa realized that her daughter, Desiree, was having trouble with her school work, she knew she would have to find assistance for her immediately.
Luckily for Melissa, her daughter’s school sent home an important piece of information- a flyer about a Homework Assistance & Tutoring Program. This program is offered free of charge at the North Tampa Family Support & Resource Center. Desiree handed that flyer to her mom and Melissa knew this was the answer to help her daughter.
Melissa registered Desiree for tutoring and faithfully brought her to the center twice a week. “It was very convenient”, Melissa said, because the North Tampa Family Support & Resource Center, located on Fowler Avenue, was close to their home.
Melissa continues enthusiastically saying, “Desiree has just improved so much!…I’m grateful to everyone…they are so nice and they’ve been so helpful.”
Desiree now attends a magnet middle school. “Guess what…?”, she asked confidently. “I’m on the honor roll.” And she smiled.
“Nothing is impossible if you believe.”
Sixty-four years ago, Ms. Marjorie Mainguth left her typewriter and never thought she would need to learn a new way to type. One day, she was going through a local newspaper and came across an advertisement for the Family Support & Resource Center in Brandon. She decided to update her skills, especially those in technology.
Marjorie was determined. She wanted to learn how to use a computer. She visited the Family Support & Resource Center located on Kingsway Boulevard and registered for the Beginner’s Computer Class.
Marjorie was excited to learn something new. Now she feels she’s up-to-date with her grandchildren. Marjorie states, “Wow! I didn’t think I could learn and do all this with a computer. This course has been an eye-opener.” She can’t wait to send her son an e-mail to surprise him.
She quotes, “Nothing is impossible if you believe.”
“Bright Beginnings and Healthy Families Made a Difference in My Life”
I am a single mother and this is my story.
I come from substance abuse and have completed a rehabilitation program, but in that long process of using, I lost all my papers – birth certificate, i.d. cards, everything! I could not speak for myself; I may as well have been from another world.
My life turned around when I was offered the opportunity to enter the Healthy Families Program through Bright Beginnings. My Family Support Worker and her supervisor advocated for me with Child Support Enforcement, since I had no way to show who I was. They were there for me and became my voice.
The father of my baby walked away on us. We were truly in need of different kinds of support. My Family Support Worker and her supervisor helped me with ASO funds, Medicaid for me and my baby, food stamps and helped me apply for a place to stay at Metropolitan Ministries. They kept hanging on and I kept hanging on to them for balance.
I continue to get visits from my Family Support Worker; she could not be nicer. She has taught me how to treat my baby and why it is important to love him and keep him safe. She tells me that my baby deserves to be the best person that he can be. My baby is developing very well and I am following my worker’s guidance. The supervisor calls me regularly to find out how my baby and I are doing. I am no longer taking drugs and I am taking classes to be able to get a job when I finally leave the shelter.
I don’t know if I could have done this without my Family Support Worker. She made me believe that it could be done.
I am blessed for having her and her supervisor to help us.
Roberto had great experience, a wonderful personality, and a can-do attitude, but he was searching for a job and needed a current resume. He decided to go to the Family Support & Resource Center in Brandon to meet with a Self-Sufficiency Specialist.
With the help of the Specialist, Roberto learned how to create an expert resume, highlighting his qualifications and levels of achievement on paper. He also learned the best ways to look for and apply for jobs.
At this time, the Family Support & Resource Center was looking to hire someone for their customer service/front desk position.
Roberto’s Self-Sufficiency Specialist thought he would be perfect for the job. He interviewed for the position and received great accolades on his experience and overall persona. He was contacted for a second round interview only to discover…he was gainfully employed!
Roberto attributes his success to the valuable information he received while working with the Self-Sufficiency Specialist. His confidence and skills, coupled with the right tools, helped him land the job.
“My Stepping Stone”
Tracie Britt is a very determined, articulate, and well educated woman. She first came to the Children’s Board to attend a provider’s workshop, but before she left, she discovered new doors to open along her life’s journey.
When leaving, Tracie saw a calendar from a Family Support & Resource Center offering a Bright Beginnings’ Employability Workshop. The Employability Workshop offered help with cover letters and resumes, interviewing skills, job searches, proper attire, and keeping the job through a series of meetings. She attended this very informative workshop and took away a lot of knowledge to help with her job searches.
During this time, Tracie realized all of the wonderful classes that are offered at the Family Support & Resource Center. She has an extensive background in childcare and teaching, and was thrilled to take some classes that helped her keep her certifications current. She also participated in Bright Beginnings’ “One on One Financial Coaching” series, which offers personal coaching with trained specialists to assist with credit, budgeting, and future planning, and signed up. She found out some very useful techniques and tools to help her in her personal and professional life.
Her success and participation was well noticed by the Bright Beginnings’ staff. When a teacher position came available for the summer program, Brooke Wheeldon-Reece, Self-Sufficiency program manager, thought Tracie would be the perfect fit.
We welcome Tracie Britt as a new member in the Bright Beginnings’ family!
“Empowered to Succeed”
Claudelle was laid off in June of 2009.
She is a single mother and knew that she had to find another job…soon. She had gone to other places looking for help, but felt intimidated by the whole process. Finally, she turned to the Coffee & Careers Workshop, offered by Bright Beginnings at a Family Support & Resource Center.
While attending the workshop, she realized she was at the right place. She felt the Employability Specialist truly cared about her and took their time to help her. She also enjoyed the convenience of being able to bring her son to the Center so he could play while she was in a class or meeting with a Specialist.
Soon after completing the workshop, she adjusted her resume, using the key points she learned, and got 4 interviews and 2 job offers. Claudelle is currently employed by the school district and works with special needs children.
Claudelle credits the Coffee & Careers workshop for her success. The Specialist “gave me personal encouragement when I felt defeated”. The workshop “empowered me and pushed me to work towards my potential.”