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Oregon

Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Lane Workforce Partnership


Meet Kaitlyn

Workforce Challenge

Kaitlyn is one of eight children, all from different fathers. As she was growing up, her mother moved Kaitlyn and her siblings often. At thirteen Kaitlyn found herself pregnant with no means of support. Not being able to depend on her mother, she moved to rural Oregon to live with her biological father. He found her a small place in Cottage Grove where she worked to pay rent. She enrolled as a sophomore with 2 credits at Cottage Grove High School. She graduated with a 3.95 GPA while raising a child with autism.

Workforce Solution

With support from the high school’s Workforce Investment Act Program (WIA), Kaitlyn enrolled her son in the high school daycare center and signed up for the College Now classes so she could earn high school and college credits at the same time. In the evening she took additional community college classes to earn more credits, earning an additional 28 college credits. Recognizing early on that education was her ticket out of poverty, Kaitlyn and her WIA counselor worked together in applying for college scholarships.
Her WIA counselor found her a job tending the school-based coffee cart which led to an internship at Next Step, a computer recycling center. She is featured in Next Step’s television advertisement as a computer refurbisher.

Outcomes & Benefits

Kaitlyn acquired a $142,000 Ford Foundation Grant to attend the University of Oregon and a $6,000 grant from the Pride Foundation in Seattle. In her second year at the University of Oregon’s Business School, she continues to earn outstanding grades and pushes herself to be a good mother as well as a good student. "Without the support from the WIA Program, I would have have been a have been a single mother on welfare in Section 8 housing, wishing for a brighter future.”


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