“Set-backs” and “obstacles.” These are the words that described Quwatel Brothers’ journey to lead her family to self-sufficiency. “Perseverance” and “success.” These words now define Quwatel and where her journey has led her.
When Quwatel’s employment counselor met her for the first time, Quwatel was working with HIRED, a nonprofit job skills and employment training organization partly funded through Ramsey and Hennepin counties, administered through a board of directors. She knew that her employment counselor had very high expectations of her and she delivered.
Quwatel took it upon herself to take complete advantage of the programs, services and other forms of support HIRED had to offer. She successfully completed job readiness classes, and was soon employed by the Salvation Army as a childcare assistant, until the next obstacle arose.
Quwatel experienced an emotional set-back, struggling to balance work and family, and was then terminated from her job. However, instead of giving up, she met with her employment counselor again to set new goals and develop another plan of action. The first step for Quwatel was to stabilize her emotional health, and after treatment she was more motivated than ever to succeed.
While working with another placement program, her child became seriously ill for many weeks and Quwatel was not able to care for her child and also work, causing a problem with her job placement.
Continually looking for jobs, Quwatel stepped out of her comfort zone and took on the position as the Easter Bunny at Southdale Mall. During this time, Quwatel learned a few things about herself and what she was capable of achieving. She continued to look for steady employment and found it through an on-the-spot job interview during a Chipotle job fair. Quwatel was hired immediately and has been working with Chipotle ever since. She is still looking toward the future, which she hopes will include obtaining better housing and reliable transportation for her family.
Quwatel’s story illustrates the fact that the path to success for Minnesota Family Investment Program participants, as with most job seekers, is not always straight or smooth. But Quwatel’s perseverance, coupled with a skilled professional committed to her success, made for a winning combination.
“We are so proud of Quwatel and what she has accomplished and very appreciative that we have providers like HIRED who are deeply committed to their clients’ success,” said Mark Toogood, director of Transition to Economic Stability Division.
Quwatel still frequently contacts her employment counselor for support, or to update her on proud moments, such as her recent promotion to manager at Chipotle.
Through her perseverance and the help of many programs and people, Quwatel was able to succeed and lead her family to self-sufficiency.