When she walked through the doors of CityLink Center, Rachel was searching for a career path and transportation. She lived with her mom, seven children, and fiance who had a terminal health diagnosis. Her hands were full, but she knew something needed to change.
While CityLink Center put her on a new trajectory in life, she had her work cut out for her. Step by step, she made progress toward her goals of a new career and owning a car. She enrolled in the Findlay Culinary Training, a nine-week program with an additional four-week paid internship. While she enjoyed the program, her attendance suffered because she didn’t have a car. When she needed to run errands, get to training, pick up groceries, or take the kids to school, she walked or took the bus.
Due to her limited attendance, Rachel dropped out of the culinary program but continued to work on her finances. Despite the setback, she didn’t lose sight of her goal and enrolled in the program a second time.
One good decision led to the next, and she graduated with enough money for a down payment on a car. ChangingGears made transportation affordable by offering her a 12 month, interest-free loan on a used vehicle.
“Stay humble and don’t give up,” Rachel shared. “I learned that I’m very resilient. I had plenty of breakdown times, but CityLink and ChangingGears gave me the opportunity to look outside of my situation and myself. I finally had hope to look ahead in life,”
Today, Rachel proudly shared that she’s been at the same restaurant for over two years. She’s currently a pantry chef and also increases her career versatility by doing any job that’s needed in the kitchen. Professionally, Rachel is actively working toward her next goal of becoming a Sous Chef and is saving money to become a homeowner.