In October 2013, I found myself unemployed after working 20 years for the same company. We were like family! In my job as a floor supervisor, I was always on my feet and helping my employees. The owner of the company passed away in 2012 and they eventually merged with a new company.
I decided I wanted a career change. I knew my job as a shop foreman had a falling rate and they say employers don’t look farther than 10 years back on your resume. I also knew I needed more education if I was going to make this change. After three months of struggling to pay bills and searching for a job, Marshall went to the Boston Career Center for help.
It was at the Boston Career Center, I found out about the Microsoft Digital Literacy Certificate (MDLC) program at United South End Settlements. The MDLC program was a 300-hour intensive program designed to prepare out-of-work, low-income, and underemployed adults for jobs that require advanced computer skills.
Since I was working the same job for 20 years, I knew I didn’t have the computer skills that most employers are looking for these days. After meeting with Mrs. Leah , the MDLC Instructor, and passing all the required assessments, Marshall joined the MDLC Program in February of 2014.
The first word I would use to describe the program is intense! Leah is a great teacher and does not let you give up. Two weeks before I finished the class, my unemployment benefits were cut off. But I fought through those last two weeks. I told myself, I’ve gotten this far and I am not quitting now! I gained a lot of confidence in that class.
After 16 weeks of intensive study, I graduated with her Microsoft Digital Literacy Certificate.
Several months of job-searching and fighting for unemployment benefits followed before Mrs. Leah called to let me know about a temporary opening as the Youth Programs Receptionist at United South End Settlements. Mrs. Leah said to me “I know you have been trying to change career with no experience to show for it. This is your chance.”
With a reference from Mrs. Leah, I was offered the position for three weeks. After the three weeks were up, I had to compete against almost 50 other candidates who sent in resumes looking to be hired on a full-time, permanent basis.
On December 14th, United South End Settlements welcomed me onto its staff as the full-time Youth Programs Receptionist.
I am fundraising for this company because its filled with an amazing staff. The staff here wears a heart on their sleeve. Everyone at USES has a critical role and we all do our best to fulfill it. Please help create more beautiful memories for more years to come.
I, Marshall Bryant, am fundraising for the Neighbor2Neighbor Fund for Families because we need to continue to disrupt the cycle of poverty. It is important that USES continues supporting its families during this critical time because families need our help more than ever. The staff here wears a heart on their sleeve. Everyone at USES has a critical role and we all do our best to fulfill it. Please help create more beautiful memories for more years to come.
It goes without saying that this pandemic has had a devastating impact on our daily lives and the livelihood of our community. Rooted in the settlement house movement with 128-years of service, United South End Settlements (USES) is once again poised to support our community through crisis. Over 1/3 of the children living in the South End of Boston are from families living below the poverty line. The majority of their parents are immigrants, single parents, and people of color. Sadly, COVID-19 is exacerbating the physical and emotional impacts of living in poverty and amplifying the needs of families who are struggling the most. Our families are experiencing the stress and anxiety of job loss/reduction and loss of income – they are unable to afford rent, food, and pay other bills and they need our support. With a mission to harness the power of our diverse community to disrupt the cycle of poverty for children and their families, we stand ready to serve, but we can’t do it alone. Please help us by supporting our newly established neighbor2neighbor (n2n) Fund for Families.
Click the button below to learn how the neighbor2neighbor Fund for Families will allow USES to continue providing remote learning and enrichment, family supports, professional development opportunities, mini grants to help pay for food, rent/mortgage, utilities, and child care.