Resident Services News
Connection to Opportunity.
Lavonda Martinez-Thompson is a single mother of four children who enrolled in the LINC Opportunity Center on November 28, 2011. Just prior to her coming to LINC, Ms. Martinez-Thompson was forced to resign from her job because of inadequate childcare.
Within three weeks, as a result of her hard work and dedication to the program, Lavonda was able to secure $15,000 in financial aid, get enrolled into Grand Rapids Community College and find a place where her son would receive the type of childcare she sought for him.
Lavonda reflected on her experience, "I wanted to go to school but wasn't sure how to do that while taking care of my kids. When I met with Ashlee, she was really motivating and helped me fill out the application for school and the FAFSA. Most places that I have gone, they don't like you to bring your kids with you because they are a distraction, but everyone at LINC was really understanding and patient with my son."
Lavonda is studying Culinary Management and wants to own her own business eventually. "This is the year, I am making changes and trying to be more positive. One of my New Years resolutions was to strengthen the family. Now we are sitting down together to eat dinner every night. The kids are really excited. I am where I need to be."
Lavonda’s story is one that resembles many women facing obstacles and juggling many responsibilities. Her story is also a true testament that hard-work, encouragement and connection to opportunities can equip any individual to change their life.
The LINC Opportunity Center is uniquely designed to equip participants to meet their goals. Through employment placement and career improvement, financial education and coaching, and public benefits access, we are prepared to walk with you from where you are to where you want to be.
Personalized financial coaching is offered in both English and Spanish. Contact Ashlee Cunningham at 616.451.9140 for information on how to enroll.