Samantha is receiving an Award of Excellence due to her perseverance and her ability to overcome obstacles to employment and personal adversity.

Today, Samantha is living her dream as a gainfully employed mother of a beautiful little girl, with a second child on the way. You would not know that this has not been an easy path for Samantha. A couple years ago, Samantha found herself in jail as a result of poor choices related to burglary, identity theft and drug use. Her poor choices not only resulted in serving jail time, but also meant losing custody of her young daughter, Aiyanne. Samantha’s former lifestyle was out-of-control.

Thankfully, Samantha was referred to Rob Golla, and the Windows to Work Program. Rob recalls that working with Samantha was a challenge due to her loss of privileges that came from additional poor choices while incarcerated. Samantha found the strength to complete the Windows to Work curriculum. Her participation in the program elevated the entire class. Other inmates picked up on her enthusiasm and stepped up their game. Samantha was determined to reach her goals of sobriety, employment, and custody of her daughter.

Shortly after her release from jail, Samantha found employment with Mariani Packing Company. She was willing to start on the night shift because of the good pay and stable hours, even though it negatively affected her progress toward regaining custody of her daughter. Samantha persevered. Slowly over time, Samantha was able to work her way into a day shift position in the front office of Mariani, which was better suited for parenting. Samantha regained visitation with her daughter that eventually led to extended visits on weekends and summers. Samantha continues to work toward joint custody and hopefully primary placement. While Samantha’s main motivation was her daughter, it was her positive, can do attitude that has led to her success.
Samantha’s favorite aspect of the Windows to Work program was the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Employment. Samantha liked how the curriculum helped her define the “now problems” and “later problems” allowing her to prioritize solutions on the fly. She used to become easily overwhelmed but this lesson has brought organization to her thoughts. She now has the skills to stay focused on her goals and the bigger picture.
To this day, Samantha continues to maintain her sobriety. She continues to work toward full custody of Aiyanne. She also continues to manage other health issues that would have previously been considered “triggers” to fall back into an unhealthy lifestyle. Samantha credits her success to some of the lessons learned in the Windows to Work Program. In Samantha’s own words:

“Windows to Work has helped with many things since my incarceration, not only in my confidence in myself, but (they) were available if I had questions or needed resources or just needed to talk through a problem. The program helped me get to a better place.”

Samantha remains employed full-time. She is looking forward to going back to work after the birth of her second child. Mariani Packing Company is working with her to keep her safe and healthy during her maternity leave, a benefit that Samantha was not accustomed to with previous employers.

Congratulations Samantha, on your sobriety and your successful career. We wish you the best with your daughter and the little one on the way.



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