The Courage to Succeed: Mochinique’s Story
Mochinique joined the LIFT community in the middle of January of 2019. During her intake, she noted that her most important areas of focus were improving her finances and her health and finishing up her Bachelor’s degree. “When I first joined the LIFT program last fall,” said Mochinique “I was not in the best place in life, but I had stability and I was able to get through each day with my sense of humor and positive mindset.” By the time I met Mochinique in early May she had gotten used to and even excited about her coaching meetings. “I did not mind sharing things with [my coaches],” Mochinique told me. “Even though my coaches were strangers to me, I felt comfortable enough to be vulnerable and feel a little better after every session.” It showed as I asked her to tell me a little bit about herself in our first meeting together and she immediately opened up.
Stating everything as matter-of-fact, she relayed that since she started with coaching, she had been through two surgeries – one she was currently recovering from – and had her daughter scheduled for one the following week. Throughout the medical procedures, she was also dealing with a wrongful termination suit after being let go as a result of fulfilling her duties as a mandated reporter. Additionally, this previous employer had been covering the cost of her four-year degree which she was just credits shy of completing, so she was unemployed as well as out of funding for her last year of school. Given all this, it would have been easy for Mo to simply hit pause for a while, but that’s definitely not her style. “I have been through some rough times in my years,” she explained, “but through it all I have managed to keep smiling, keep going strong in my education and enhancing myself as a mother, daughter, and woman all together.”
During our second meeting, Mo had just as much to share with me. In the three weeks between our meetings Mo was recovered from her surgery and she had been able to secure an interview for a new job, help her daughter through her recovery, begin a new health routine, and complete her induction at school into the National Society of Leadership and Success. She also was given the go-ahead to walk at this year’s graduation instead of next! Through LIFT’s partnership with Cradles to Crayons, she was also able to secure some donations that came just in time for her kids. Mo was also eligible for her cash transfer during this meeting. It came through to her after only an hour and she was able to purchase some interview attire for her upcoming appointment. I got the sense that all of this reward only further motivated her to continue achieving or as she put it, “to carry on and push forward.”
Soon after her scheduled interview, I texted Mo to check in about how it went. She responded letting me know that she was about to walk into a second one and would keep me posted. Within the hour she texted again to tell me that she had landed the job! All of Mo’s recent work and dedication have afforded her the opportunity to switch her focus back to her finances and health and begin thinking about a timeline for earning her Master’s degree. For now, she has a full-time position as a Parent Educator, which she started on the 1st of July with her newly earned degree from National-Louis University and some tuition assistance that comes with the position to help her complete her final credits, too.
I feel very lucky to be working with Mochinique. She is an incredible woman, someone driven by her family, humbled by her accomplishments, and resilient through her struggles. For Mochinique, it’s not just the goal action steps that have her feeling “damn proud.” “The program being available and completely free has helped me self-reflect. [LIFT] has given me the tools I need to be encouraged, to plan for the present and the future, and be okay with how far I have come in life.” I am honored to have been able to share her story with the LIFT team and look forward to hearing more myself as her journey continues to be discovered.
This blog post was written by Catherine Looby, a coach at LIFT-Chicago.
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