Danielle was born and raised in Laramie, and lived in Montana for a few years with her immediate family before returning to Laramie while pregnant with her son to live with her grandparents. She was working part-time with Ark Regional Services when she heard about the CLIMB program.
“I heard about CLIMB through some friends after I moved back to Laramie,” said Danielle. “I went to CLIMB’s office and spoke with Kim, who told me they were accepting applications for their upcoming CNA training.”
When Danielle thinks back to starting the program in 2012, she remembers how much she enjoyed being part of a group that could relate to each other because of their similar experiences.
“We all has variations of the same thing going on – troubled relationships, no job, no support system. I felt really alone after moving back to Laramie and it was so awesome to be able to develop friendships with the other women in the program.”
She was also surprised by the impact of life skills trainings, and the affordability of the career trainings.
“I was shocked that CLIMB offered everything from uniforms to our CNA clinical training at no cost to me,” said Danielle. “I would not have been able to complete the training if I had to pay. And the parenting skills – most of us did not have a clue about our intentions when it came to parenting. We learned how to communicate with our kids based on their age and development, and how to use rewards and time out to reach our goal of being better parents.”
CLIMB’s thorough approach to job placement proved very helpful.
“I came off as pretty shy when I started CLIMB, and I learned a lot about good, direct communication skills in the program. During my mock interviews the three local business owners that interviewed me said I did really well. I was surprised because I usually have a hard time talking to people – it gave me a lot of confidence.”
The confidence that Danielle gained in mock interviews was critical to getting her current job as a CNA in Student Health Services at the University of Wyoming.
“There were a lot of people in my first interview, including my potential supervisor, the director and the staff who were all doctors. It was pretty intimidating but I was really prepared thanks to CLIMB. And I got the job! I started as part time and was prepped to take on a full time position to replace someone that was moving. I had to go through a second round of interviews for the full time position and did well. Now I’m employed full time with insurance and benefits.”
Danielle recognized that her life outside of work has also changed after completing the CLIMB program.
“I manage my money a lot better. I pay my bills on time and I’m not dealing with debt collectors. I get to spend time with my family at night and on the weekends. I have met someone who treats my son like his son, and is about to graduate from the University of Wyoming. We take day trips and go to the park together. I can also spend more time with my grandparents and help them when they need it.”