Kelly is my hero. She’s kind of girl you’ve all known or heard about or seen on TV – the oldest girl in a big dysfunctional family who stood up very early on to protect her younger brothers and sisters from their violent step-dad. There was no room for any need she might have along the way.
When the family inevitably fell apart, she dropped out of school and moved in with a friend’s family. She got a job – any job – and began studying for her GED. She passed. Then she found a better job and a roommate and an apartment.
By the time Kelly was 18, she had a job as a nurse’s aide at a good hospital, and that’s where she’s been for the past ten years. There she became the patients’ favorite nurse and everyone’s friend. Life was pretty good. She never intended on staying so long, but seniority gave her privileges, and the work came naturally to her.
After four or five years, she started looking around for something more interesting, more fun, more challenging. She knew she needed more education but knew the academic life wasn’t for her. She found an academy for entertainment arts that blew her mind, and she was off and running. She knew she could do this. She was determined.
Kelly’s survival skills are always at the fore. She worked night shifts, took out loans – big ones that were easy to get before 2008 – and worked her way through a three-year arts college. I can hardly bear to write this, but her parents didn’t make it to her graduation at the last minute, even though they said they would. Big surprise.
The year following graduation, she sent out resumes and letters and got a few nibbles for production assistant, but then she sort of gave up. She’s not bitter, jaded or resentful, as she has every right to be after this long struggle that has been her life, but more than anything, she is tired. Tired and disappointed.
And then one day as she was thinking about all this, she found me, fairly easily on-line: “Career Coach Oakland.” And I can’t tell you how happy and grateful I am that she did.
We bonded almost immediately.
Believe me when I say that I will be in Kelly’s corner with everything that is in me, like the mother, sister, teacher, friend she never had. Together we are going to go after the future she deserves.
I have a hero on my hands.