by Regi Taylor, ULGSO Content Writer
“In two years, my client has seen the unfortunate depths of the bottom of the barrel to now embracing personal empowerment and economic self-sufficiency,” is the proud, heartfelt assessment of Dusty Bryant, case manager at ULGSO’s Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program, CCMEP.
Dusty is referring to a young woman who entered his program in May 2020 as a mandatory participant due to receiving Ohio Work First cash assistance. She is a single parent and a recovering addict who maintained sobriety for a full year prior to entering the program and maintains sobriety today.
Mr. Bryant’s characterization of her situation as ‘bottom of the barrel’ describes a situation where this young mother had a criminal record as a juvenile and as an adult and was on probation for felony possession of narcotics when she began with CCMEP.
Through a combination of sheer determination to improve her circumstances, buttressed by the steadfast, unyielding support of her case manager, Dusty, this young woman has reversed her fortunes 180 degrees. She has completed the requirements for her high school diploma, reclaimed her driver’s license, and has been gainfully employed for 18 months. Starting at $10 per hour, she’s been promoted and is now at $18 hourly in a management training program.
In addition to working full time, this revitalized mom is currently enrolled at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College completing prerequisites toward an Ultrasound Technician degree leading to a career with $60,000 annual earning potential while maintaining an A average in the process.
Her brighter future is further incentivized by her criminal record having been officially expunged, opening the door wider for personal and professional prospects down the road.
A beaming Dusty Bryant reflects: “My participation on my client’s pathway to self-sufficiency began with establishing trust utilizing active listening, positive open communication, consistency, encouraging self-direction and motivation, offering praise, and connecting her to community resources and the supportive services unique to the Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program.”