One challenge, one hurdle can easily discourage a lot of people. Unlike those people, LaShannon Appleby accepts each challenge as being exactly that – a challenge. As a young mother of an infant child, LaShannon understands her decisions do not just affect her future.
After a tumultuous childhood as an at-risk youth in the foster care program, LaShannon moved to Austin after high school to pursue her education and a better life for herself and her daughter.
“I want my daughter to know that I’ve sacrificed it all,” says LaShannon. “I don’t want her to future to be my past.”
Despite drive and determination, LaShannon was unable to find employment that could support her young family both financially and time-wise. Her first job at a gas station did not offer a regular schedule, making it impossible to utilize traditional child care. LaShannon had to resort to costly or often inconvenient baby-sitting requests.
In the fall of 2013, LaShannon enrolled in the Choices program and began working with her Career Counselor Susan Wondra.
“At the time of our intake, LaShannon was struggling to provide a comfortable life for her and her infant daughter,” says Susan. “Although she has no family support and had a difficult time keeping her job with no assistance, LaShannon has always had an exceptionally good attitude and a smile on her face. She has more self-motivation and drive than the average individual and because she is so humble, she does not realize the successes she has made as a young mother.”
Utilizing available child care services and transportation assistance, LaShannon was not only able to increase the number of available hours she could work but she also secured a new full-time job with a 50% increase in hourly pay!
“Without Ms. Wondra, my daughter and I could have been sleeping in my car,” says LaShannon. “I want people to know they don’t have to give up. There are a lot of resources in Texas. There is help. You are not alone.”
About the Choices Program
For individuals receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Workforce Solutions Capital Area offers one-on-one job search assistance and support services through the Choices program. Choices is a no-cost employment program designed to give TANF recipients the assistance and support they need to find a job. Specifically, Choices can provide:
- Job search assistance
- Child care
- Transportation assistance
- Work-related expenses
- Referrals to other community services
Eligibility for the Choices program and TANF is determined by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). For more information about eligibility requirements, please visit http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/Help/Financial/temporary-assistance.shtml.