The Minnesota Department of Human Services provides Minnesotans with a variety of services intended to help people live as independently as possible.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services serves Minnesotans in all 87 counties and 11 tribes. More than one million Minnesotans receive some sort of help from our department. Among these are our grandparents, neighbors, friends, relatives and classmates.
Many of the people we serve only need assistance for a short period of time, while others need longer-term assistance. At DHS our goal is to meet people where they are at, and focus on outcomes to improve life situations, and to get people the help they need so they can reach their full potential.
Here is one of their stories. Refresh this page to read more stories.
In October of 2009 my daughter Timahel was born. When she was 3 months old I went back to my retail job. With another person to take care of and being the sole source of income for my family, I decided to stay on economic assistance and continued to work with employment services at the American Indian Family Center (AIFC) in St. Paul. Though I was extremely happy to have become a mother, I wanted more for my family and myself professionally. I continued to work into December 2010, all the while experiencing much personal strife.
On Dec. 2, 2010, I decided I could no longer just accept my life as it was. I made the decision to end my retail career and to pursue more ample opportunities. At the same time I had also decided to become a single mother.
I kept in touch with my employment counselor and others at the AIFC. I felt they truly understood my intentions in making the decisions that I made regarding my employment and my personal life. When an opportunity arose through a program in association with the state, appropriately named “Changing Lives,” I jumped at it.
The opportunity was an interview for a temporary position at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. I prepared, did the interview and then didn’t get the position. I was bummed out, of course, but I knew there was still something out there for me. A couple of weeks later I received a call telling me that the original person they had hired for the position did not work out, and they wanted to offer me the job. I accepted, and even though I knew it was only temporary, I thought of the possibilities and committed myself 100 percent.
The position did a lot to help me to develop more skills and to further my development in administrative work. The team taught me everything that time allowed, and if I had the desire to know more we integrated that training into the schedule whenever possible. I was also assigned a mentor who offered everything from constructive criticism to beauty tips. Although I may not have used every bit of advice that I received, I recognized the success of these people demonstrated the valuable knowledge they had to offer.
It was through some of the team members at the department that I heard about possible administrative positions opening up at another state agency. Putting much of my new knowledge to work, I submitted my newly tweaked resume’ and prepared for an interview.
I now sit at a desk in the Department of Transportation’s Construction Office as the new office and administrative specialist at the senior level. I am proud of my successes, but I am not ready to stop yet. This winter I began a degree in business administration with an emphasis in pre-law and couldn’t be more excited. I intend to always learn from past mistakes, whether they belong to me or people close to me. Life threw me a lot of bricks, but, as David Brinkley said, “A successful [wo]man is one who can a lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at [her].”