A story of a CSBG client assisted by the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency serving Ford, Iroquois and Vermillion counties.
Sue sought assistance from the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency (ECICAA) because she wanted to be gainfully employed. In October 2001, she was hired on a temporary basis to help in the Community Services Division; more specifically in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). She soon became a very integral part of the LIHEAP team, though due to budgetary constraints, her temporary employment was terminated. When an opportunity presented itself to hire additional staff in our Community Services Division, Sue was hired as a temporary worker. While she was prospering in her position within the agency, she failed to meet the minimum educational requirements to become a full-time employee; she did not have a high school diploma or GED. Based on her exceptional performance and her demonstrated desire to excel, the agency felt she deserved a chance, so her employment status changed from temporary to permanent, full-time Community Development Specialist in February 2003. As a part of her professional development plan, she was mandated to attain her GED within a specified period of time. Sue also took advantage of a number of services throughout the Agency in which her family was eligible. She applied for and received LIHEAP assistance, which provided her additional disposable income that helped her meet the basic needs for her family. She had two small children who were age appropriate who were enrolled in ECICAA’s Three to Five – Head Start Services. In December 2004, Sue passed the GED test. Receiving her GED has instilled a renewed sense of confidence and ambition in Sue. She is now enrolled in Danville Area Community College striving to attain an Associates Degree in a computer related field. Some of her other goals are to become a homeowner; further her education beyond an Associates Degree; and to continue striving to provide a brighter and self-sufficient future for her family.