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Shutia’s Story

Shutia is a 23-year-old mother of three boys all of whom are under the age of seven. Some might say that’s a handful, but Shutia joyfully says her sons are well-behaved and fun.

She said her boys are also what keeps her motivated because she knows they’re depending on her. As a single mom, she feels double the pressure to provide for her children which is why losing her job at Marshalls during the pandemic was so hard. She said she could only buy the essentials and had to keep to a strict budget.

“Getting laid off was hard. I didn’t have as much money so I couldn’t take care of my boys like I wanted. If I didn’t need it, I didn’t buy it.”

Since many businesses were closed due to the pandemic, Shutia realized she was unlikely to find a new customer service job. After seeing a message about New Moms’ Job Training program in a Facebook group, she decided to enroll.

Shutia said she’s enjoyed her time as a production assistant at New Moms’ social enterprise, Bright Endeavors. She likes working with the other moms in the program and says the coaches set a good example of how to be professional.

“I’m gaining all the tools I need to be successful. They teach us things we can take with us through life.”

Shutia was recently promoted to team lead at Bright Endeavors, so now she trains the moms just starting the program. She said she was especially proud of this achievement because the promotion came out of nowhere.

“The coaches said that even though I was quiet, they knew I was always present on the job and willing to help others.”

Shutia’s future goals include saving $1,000 by the end of her 12 weeks in the program, so she can move into her own apartment. She said she’s “excited and nervous” to move into her own place for the first time.

As part of her savings goal, Shutia opened her first ever savings account with the help of New Moms staff. All New Moms participants are eligible for a free, FDIC-insured bank account through US Bank which is one tool we use to promote financial justice in the face of generations of injustice against communities of color. Shutia said having a bank account makes her feel stable and she’s excited by the possibilities it provides.

Eventually, Shutia wants to re-enroll in classes at Daley College. She’s interested in social work and child counseling because she firmly believes every child needs someone to talk to and to reach out to when life is hard.

To other young moms, Shutia encourages them to join the New Moms’ Job Training program for the paid professional development and the additional benefits.

“It’s hard but do it anyway.”