"A Hand Was Given And I Took It"

The Atlanta Women's Foundation's Sue Wieland Embracing Possibility Award is a special $10,000 grant given to an organization that demonstrates AWF logo slider imageoutstanding ability to make significant change in the lives of women and girls. An additional award goes to one “shining example” of that organization. Congratulations to Mildred “Mimi” Mondesir, the shining example of JF&CS Career Services Program, who received a special $2,500 grant to continue her journey of success.

My Story
, by Mildred “MiMi” Mondesir (edited for length). 

“I can recall when I first met Ms. Donna Coles, (Career Coach & Program Coordinator at JF&CS Career Services). I was in dire need of help to find my way back to the workplace after losing my job as an administrative assistant. I had worked for almost eight years before I became very sick.

Despite beings prescribed 27 different medications, I couldn’t wear clothes, walk, or sit because of unbearable pain. I went to the hospital where an infectious disease doctor walked in and, with one look, said you have “Bullous Pemphigoid”. When another outbreak occurred, I had to be hospitalized for a week. Unfortunately, despite being a loyal, dedicated, hardworking employee who made a measurable impact, after leaving the hospital, my supervisor informed me that I was terminated.

As you can imagine, I was very depressed. All I could think about were my children. How could I take care of them? My health was gone. I lost my home, job, income, and insurance. My only choice was to apply for Social Security disability.

I had no idea where to go and who to turn to. In the course of one year, we moved four times — including a friend’s house where me and my 3 children stayed in one room.

JF&CS provided what many people need; compassion, understanding, respect, communication, and genuine help. A hand was given and I took it.

You will never understand what it means to have help like this available. I wish there were more organizations like JF&CS. They truly gave me a sense of hope!

I am working now with Georgia Department of Veteran Services. I love my job which comes with my own office. I am planning a move into a new home with my children with the intentions to buy my own home.”