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A Knock on The Door that Changed Kierra’s Life

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Kierra Veney almost didn’t respond to the knock on her door. After all, she was a young woman desperately trying to cope with poverty and be a good mother to her baby boy. In her experience, a knock on the door never led to anything good. But the day that an Eckerd Connects Workforce Development staff member knocked would be a turning point in Kierra’s life, and it’s a powerful example of how our supporters can completely change a young mom’s future.

When we explained to Kierra how counseling, education, job training, and other support services could help her become self-sufficient, she saw an opportunity to change her life. She enrolled in our Workforce Development program immediately.

Kierra got an opportunity to change her life.

“The first thing that I noticed is that the staff cared about me. They were interested in who I was.”

With help and encouragement, Kierra blossomed. She enthusiastically attended every workshop and soon received customer service certification that opens doors for entry-level jobs. And when we learned that helping others was a real passion for her, it was natural to pair her with one of our newest partner employers. A Wealth of Women, founded by inspirational speaker and motivator Dr. T. Sandi Williams, to help women revive their spirits to fulfill their life’s work. This wonderful mission fit Kierra perfectly, and Dr. Williams immediately took her on as a paid intern.

Kierra got a fresh start.

“I learned so much from Dr. Williams,” Kierra says. “She motivated me and showed me what it means to be professional. Her dedication to helping others fueled my passion to help other young women.”

Kierra was so effective in her new job that Dr. Williams invited her to help represent Wealth of Women International in Ghana. Dr. Williams paid for Kierra to fly with her to Africa – the first flight Kierra had ever taken. While in Ghana, Kierra met with U.S. Ambassador H.E. Dr. Erieka Bennett, and visited historic slave dungeons to gather information about the African Diaspora. She even gave a speech to an audience of 1,000 young women and inspired them about changing their own lives. She is a long way from the despairing young mother who hesitantly answered a knock on her door. Now all the doors are open…

“I learned so much from Dr. Williams,” Kierra says. “She motivated me and showed me what it means to be professional. Her dedication to helping others fueled my passion to help other young women.”

“I want to go to school and own my own business and give others an opportunity to change their lives like what the Eckerd Connects program did for me.”

Kierra found her own way to give back.

“When people support Eckerd Connects, they help youth like me. They’re not giving a handout; they’re providing a hand up. That’s all we need. Thank you for all the support. It’s life-changing!”

Learn More about the Workforce Development Program here.

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