With years of putting the family's needs before her own, Delores now says "its my time."
Delores still has the will and motivation to push herself into the unknown. She first heard about the Getting Ahead classes from friends and, as she wanted to educate herself, thought, “At my age, if I still can, why not?” Since graduating from both of Bridges’ Getting Ahead and Financial Management classes, she has also enrolled at the Excel Center to earn her high school diploma. When asked what her number one goal was, she said with the strongest of determination, “I want to get my high school diploma.” She said that at this point in her life, it is time to finish things she couldn’t finish earlier in life. “You know, you have kids, work, and then your kids have kids, you’re always doing everything else that need to be done in life and for other people, it’s my time now.”
After receiving her high school diploma, she hopes to take some college courses to learn new skills or gain more knowledge of caregiving, her current occupation. “I also want to learn how to work computers,” she said, telling me about her grand-daughters and grand-nephews. “I thank God for all of them. They keep me motivated and wanting to learn more…they help me and teach me so much,” she smiled, showing me her phone and the things they have taught her about it, including the games. Laughing, she recalled how they always want to teach her new games, visiting often and sometimes staying the night. “I know I will make it because I have a lot of help…I am truly blessed for all of them, for my whole family.”
Delores is also thankful for the classes offered at Bridges and she wants others to know they will help motivate you and make you feel like you can do it. “There are so many people in the classes who will call and encourage you. I made a lot of friends there too,” said Delores. But this statement extends far beyond the classes. While Delores feels blessed to get back in school and knows it will not be easy, she said she is going. In her own experience, she said she did not really know she was in poverty because she was stable, guessing there are probably others who think the same thing she did and could learn a lot from the classes. “It’s time to look around,” she said, her eyes twinkling. “Sometimes you think you know, but really you don’t. You’ll realize ‘I thought I had it fine’.”
For Delores, the best experience in life is to learn something new. She used to do a lot of art, but as life happened, she stopped doing it. Happy, she told me “I just bought some colored pencils and paper. I’m going to start doing art again, try to get my grand-nephews and the kids to do it with me.” A dream of hers is to be able to give back to the people, especially the kids, and to help in a special way. With her energy, I know she will succeed. “Just don’t stop, there is always something behind the cloud, keep on moving!” she said. Delores is full of gratitude and positivity, and I am thankful to have met her.