Corneisha was heading down a path of destruction.
She had always been happy and outgoing, with a personality that could fill a room. But she was surrounding herself with nothing but negativity. Soon, she wasn’t
taking anything seriously. She was too focused on being young and having fun. She was making all the wrong choices.
“My bottom was looking in a mirror and not knowing who was looking back at me. All the things I used to love doing – drawing, singing, dancing – I didn’t like doing them anymore. I didn’t think I deserved anything good in my life.”
Corneisha wanted structure. She wanted to better herself. She wanted to be able to set goals and accomplish them. She wanted to believe she was truly worthy of the best that life has to offer.
That’s when Corneisha came to Cara.
At first, Corneisha was thrown by what she saw that morning in Motivations – the clapping, the singing, the cheering. “This did not seem like an ordinary job-training program. It was strange, but I liked it.”
Cara taught Corneisha to face her fears so she would no longer hold herself back. She learned how to forgive herself and to let go of the bitterness and resentment she held. “I was holding on to so much anger and I didn’t want to forgive or forget it. I had to learn to get over that.”
She also learned about the power in a community like the one she found at Cara. Corneisha used her larger-than-life personality to inspire and motivate not just herself, but her fellow participants as well. She was a standout in the Motivations circle. She became a leader among her peers. She even orchestrated the creation of holiday cards and caroling for Cara’s staff members.
“When people come to Cara, we are all going through things. But our energy and the way we interact with people, can really lift them up. To make someone smile, or feel good about themselves, to know I touched somebody, is awesome. And they will remember me for that.”
Corneisha used that energy and spirit to land a job as a Guest Relations Associate with Cara employment partner Rush University Medical Center. Right away, Corneisha loved that the job had her meeting and working with new people every day, but also being a comforting face for the patients of Rush.
“My job gives me purpose. It makes me feel good about myself and I love having somewhere to go every morning.”
She is also thinking about her future.
Corneisha is pursuing a degree, possibly in psychology or a similar field where she would help and nurture people. “I want to be that person for someone who helps them come closer to realizing their ideas and dreams. I’m surrounded by so much excellence at work, I want to be a part of it.”
“I didn’t have the things in life that Cara offered me. I was hopeless and distraught. But Cara continues to be that support system I need and love so much. Today, I walk out the door with my head held high. I’m proof that this works.”
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