Building Hope: Interview with Patricia McDaniel: WorkFaith Birmingham Client Alumni

At WorkFaith Birmingham, one of our most important values is the collaboration we have with our community partners. One of those partners is The Salvation Army Center of Hope.   Together, we get the opportunity to see lives transformed as our clients begin to discover their skills, talents, and their own self-worth. They become more hopeful and confident in the value they bring to future employers, their families, and the community.  Here’s what Patricia McDaniel, one of our recent Client Alumni, had to say about the impact WorkFaith Birmingham has made on her life…

1. Please tell us about what has happened in your life/career since you graduated from WorkFaith

Right now, I’m most focused on getting my GED and have completed 2 of the 4 remaining sections since graduating from WFB.   I believe that getting my GED and pursuing my education will help me be more successful in finding a good job. I’m continuing to search for work and most recently applied for a part-time job at FedEx. Hoping to hear back from them soon.

2. What did you learn or practice during the workshop that helped you succeed in your job search, application, or interview?

In the past,  I would skip the criminal background information section on job applications.  After taking the workshop, I became more confident in who I am.  My background was a part of my life and although it’s still uncomfortable, I know that “honesty is the best policy.”  I can now tell my story and not feel ashamed.

3. Would you mind sharing one challenge that the WorkFaith staff helped you to overcome?

Again, it goes back to my becoming more confident. I feel better about applying for jobs and I don’t limit myself to looking for just minimum wage type jobs at fast food restaurants (which I respect and appreciate), but I know that I’m equipped to do more. I’m more positive about looking for jobs that I used to think I wasn’t qualified for.  

4. We would love to know about your relationship with the Lord as well. Can you share with us how God has used WorkFaith to encourage you to walk closer with him?

I’ve always had a close relationship with the Lord.  My faith is what has saved me. I feel that God puts me where He needs me to be and the WorkFaith program was one of those places.

5. If you had to pick one thing that was the biggest takeaway from the workshops, the workbook, or your interaction with staff, what would it be?

I would have to say that it was the connections; the bond that was developed with the other ladies in the class and the WorkFaith Birmingham staff.  It was so much more personal than I thought it would be. We encouraged each other. I struggled at the beginning because of my anxiety, but by the second week, I didn’t want the class to end. I really miss everyone.

6. If someone you knew asked why they should enroll in the workshop, what would you say?

It’s a great class! Highly recommend it. Everyone should take it.  I learned to do things that I’ve never done before like building a resume and becoming more confident in how to do a proper interview.

7. If someone was considering volunteering or donating to WorkFaith, what would you say to them?

I would highly recommend them donating time and money to WorkFaith because they encourage people to better themselves and to move forward in their lives.  

8. What are your next steps?

I am working hard to finish my GED.  I’ve been enrolled in Ready to Work at the Salvation Army. I also have plans to enroll in Jefferson State Community College. I’m not sure what I will major in yet, but I’m excited because I know God has a plan for me. 

9. Is there anything else you would like to share?

For the first time, I’m doing something for myself. Before it was about being a mom and a wife and, while that was very important, I never did anything for myself. I put myself last. My becoming homeless and an addict was the major shift that resulted in me becoming totally dependent upon God and now, I feel like I’m somebody. I’ve had periods of self-hate, and God has sent others to speak positive words into my life.  Now, I think about going back to school.  I’m UNSTOPPABLE!

You, Pam, Andy, and the staff at WorkFaith are very encouraging and motivating.  You do more than just teach a class.

Throughout the month of December, we aim to have 150 people sponsored for our workshops ($50,000+). We know there are many great opportunities for you to impact lives across Birmingham. Would you consider giving the gifts of WORK & FAITH this year?

15 People Sponsored So Far

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