Women's Job Corps Ministry changing lives
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 1:00 AM
A Philadelphia woman, devastated by the loss of three of her children in a house fire in 2012, credits the Christian Women's Job Corps Ministry for helping her move on with life.
A high school dropout, Leslie Tubby did not regularly attend church before she lost her children.
However, through the support of the ministry,, Tubby was inspired to return to church and also to enroll in a GED program. On July 18, she will receive her GED diploma from East Central Community College. She now plans to enroll in the college's nursing school.
Tubby now faithfully attends Mass each Sunday at Holy Rosary Catholic Church.
Since its formation, 64 women have completed the Women's Job Corps program, Sandi Lewis, site coordinator said.
The program is a 16-week course beginning at 5:30 p.m. It includes dinner, Bible study, job skills training and computer skills training. The program also provides GED testing preparation.
"In the program, they [the women] do an assessment for their job skills and likes and dislikes to show them what their job interests are," Lewis said. "They then pick three career interests and narrow the three down to one.
"After identifying a job goal, employers come in and explain jobs, the job hours and the job environment. We also invite the schools to talk about their programs."
Another aspect of the ministry is addressing what they call "roadblocks" which are struggles that might occur during their career goal.
"We address 'roadblocks' by teaching them to overcome them and to never give up," Lewis said. "We also make them have a game plan called a 'road map.' Basically, they have a vocational plan that plans out the stages of their career goals and helps them continue on their plan even if 'roadblocks' occur."
Denese Seales completed the Jobs Corps course in the spring of 2011 and said that the program had a positive effect on her.
"The ministry inspired me to look towards God for all my help and to believe in myself," she said.
Seales said the ministry inspired her to enroll at East Central Community College, where she recently graduated with a two-year certificate in precision manufacturing and machine technology.
She finished with a 3.5 GPA and was a Dean's List Scholar.
"This course is a release," she said. "It is good to talk to people to release your burdens. You have to learn to not let your circumstances rule your life."
"We cannot always be there for these ladies," she said. " So, we try to teach them about Jesus because they cannot always call us, but they can always call on the Lord."
A special moment in the history of the ministry was when it was nominated for Great American Heroes. Country music singer Trace Adkins came to the Neshoba County Baptist Center and completed some of the ministry's activities including an assessment, mock interview, mock graduation, etc. He also made a generous donation to the ministry.
Christian Women's Job Corps Ministry of Philadelphia is one of 17 in the state and over 200 in the nation. The ministry is designed to aid women in encouragement, job skills and life skills. The program primarily targets the unemployed, the underemployed, or the homemaker that is trying to enter or re-enter the workforce.
Instructors of the course include Bible study instructor Roberta Byars, job skills instructor Jan Cooper and computer skills instructor Scott Lewis.
For more information about the program call Sandi Lewis at (601) 481-4065. The Christian Women's Job Corps Ministry is open to any woman of any age, ethnicity and faith.
Every woman who takes the course has to have a female mentor who encourages and works with her. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or a volunteer mentor, call Lewis. Training is provided.