When Samiha Sufyan began participating in the Livonia PATH program in February, 2016, she was facing several significant employability barriers. Samiha met with Career Development Facilitator (CDF), Dawn Mathis, and shared that she did not have a GED or diploma, a driver’s license, child care or work experience outside of the home. Additionally, her limited English language proficiency was a barrier, as was her housing situation. Samiha and her 3-month-old baby were living with relatives, and she was in the process of bringing her husband and other children to the United States. Despite all of these barriers, Samiha was determined to achieve success.
In order to increase her work readiness, Samiha was referred to participate in the COPE program, EDSI’s onsite internship. She made child care arrangements and utilized EDSI’s shuttle van to get to and from the office. Samiha quickly learned new computer skills while engaged in the internship’s scanning center process, and she began assisting COPE Coordinator Rebecca Pettinger with training new interns, including those with a limited English language barrier. She also worked with EDSI staff to incorporate her new skills and experience into her resume.
In September, Samiha made great progress toward achieving her goals. She began an online GED/ESL program and obtained part-time employment as a Lunch Aide at Hillcrest Elementary School. Samiha also obtained her driver’s permit, and a family member agreed to teach her how to drive. On October 26, she returned to the office to tell her CDF Dawn that she passed her driver’s test and is now a licensed driver in the state of Michigan. Samiha set January as her target month to take the GED test and continued to work on resolving her other employability barriers. She began a second job as a cashier with Tim Horton’s in November.
Samiha shared what she gained from the PATH program: “I am very thankful to have Dawn Mathis. She helped me and gave me strength and courage. The PATH program was very informational and helpful. I have learned so much. I want to say thank you to Dawn and Rebecca, who helped me and taught me so much. Without Dawn, I couldn’t have done it.”