When she was growing up, Mary Douglas' life lacked the structure she needed to evolve into an independent, well-adjusted person. Without that structure, she found herself mixing with the wrong crowd. Being out late at night, drinking and even fighting became her lifestyle. She continually skipped class and ran away from home. It got to the point where Mary was placed in Erie County's Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS) program.
Through the PINS program, Mary was able to get back in school and graduate with her Regent's diploma. At 18, no longer eligible for the PINS program, she again lost the needed structure in her life.
"I didn't know where to go or what to really do," said Mary.
With the intention of finding some support and structure, she came to Catholic Charities seeking help to find employment. She enrolled in the WAGEES program offered by the Education and Workforce Department, and dedicated herself to making her life better.
Mary attended job readiness training, developed her résumé, and got herself involved with call service training at the Center for Transportation Excellence (CTE). During her training she persevered and performed at a peak level. Her hard work paid off. Mary was offered a position at the CTE and is now working there full time.
"I realized I was living a life I did not want to live," She said. "I knew I was capable of more, I just didn't know where to begin."
At Catholic Charities, Mary said she received the "support and guidance" to "help get going in the right direction." Her job provides her with a new lease on life and she has decided to continue her success and apply for college.
"I want to provide for my son and myself, and not rely on public assistance," said Mary. "I hope he works and goes to school when he is older, and I want him to see me put in the work to help motivate him."