In Spring 2016, Amanda became involved in the Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI) and started working toward her goal of becoming a medical administrative assistant and creating a more secure future for herself and her children.
Today, Amanda’s two daughters – aged 6 and 9 – are getting excited for Santa’s arrival as most kids their age do at this time of year. But this year, the excitement and celebration is extended even further.
Thanks to their mother’s drive and determination, and the support provided through SPEI – a unique government program that helps remove barriers that single parents on income assistance can face when returning to the workforce – Amanda was able to complete the schooling she needs to become a qualified medical administrative assistant.
“My commitment played a huge role in achieving my education goals, but it is also the financial support that SPEI provides that has made all the difference in helping me move forward to make a better life for me and my kids,” Amanda says.
In addition to graduating from the Academy of Learning in October, Amanda completed her studies with an outstanding 4.0 grade point average and was chosen as valedictorian for her graduating class. “I’ve always wanted to help people. By representing my class, I am able to show people that no matter what challenges they may face, don’t ever set limits on yourself.”
Instilling in her daughters the message that if you work hard and try your best, you can do anything you want in life, is something Amanda strives for every day. “As a parent, it is so rewarding for me to lead by example and show my daughters that they can do anything they put their minds to, and even exceed those expectations.”
With the continued support of her local WorkBC Employment Services Centre, Amanda is increasing her interview experience, actively looking for long-term employment in the medical administration field, and is eager to put her new skills to work. “I am very optimistic about my career future, and I know it’s only a matter of time until I’m working in the field that I love.”
“It truly is a life-changing program,” Amanda says. “By providing the resources that single parents need the most, like the cost of training or education and child care, SPEI really does support single parents to succeed.”
Amanda has accomplished a lot this year and says that this Christmas already feels different for her. “I get to end 2016 in a much better way than it started. Because of the steps I’ve taken and the help SPEI has provided, I am more confident in myself and my abilities. Not only that, seeing the smiles on my daughters’ faces when they say ‘We are so proud of you Mommy’ is the best gift I could ask for this Christmas.”
The Single Parent Employment Initiative provides eligible single parents on income or disability assistance with supports including up to 12 months of funded training for in-demand jobs or paid work experience placement, transit costs to and from school, and child-care costs during their training or work placement and in the first year of employment. Single parents can also remain on income assistance while attending a training program. Since its launch in September 2015, more than 4,000 single parents have become involved in SPEI and more than 730 have already found employment.
Read more stories of single parents getting support to build a better future for their family.
Learn more about the Single Parent Employment Initiative.