Way to Go, Trisha!

Trisha Smith is a young mother who came to Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center (MRNC) to originally receive help with child-care for her young sons and in turn was provided additional support in the form of Employment and Financial Coaching to make dramatic changes in her life.

She was working part-time, unable to maintain long-term employment, when the Youth Program Coordinator, Madison Eckert, BSW, referred Trisha to the Employment Services and Employment Coaches we have available at MRNC.

This was the first encounter that Trisha had with her now Employment Coach, Meaghan Owens, BSW. She enrolled in the Bridges to Career Opportunities Program (BCO) in December of 2019 and said that her immediate goal was to find some vocational training classes in the Healthcare Field so that she could get a better job, making more money, and help provide for her family.

The first thing that Trisha needed to do was enroll in the BCO Program and she made sure to complete all necessary steps. She compiled all required documentation for her file, completed her Bridge Application, attended a three-day-long Job Readiness Course hosted virtually by MRNC Employment Services Staff in September of 2020, and passed her TABE test to show proficiency in math and reading. Now she was ready to find classes and begin training.

Trisha researched classes and decided she would like to pursue an industry-recognized state certification in Medical Front Office Billing & Coding classes through a partnership with MedCerts Training Provider in September 2020, immediately following Job Readiness. She has done excellent in classes and is on track to graduate by May 2021, after which she will begin studying to take her state board exam to become a Certified Medical Billing & Coding Specialist.

While working with her Employment Coach, Trisha also officially gained full-time employment through Victoria’s Secrets Call Center in October 2020 earning $15 per hour to help while she finishes up classes. Through her engagement in the Employment Services Program she has also qualified for additional wrap-around services including transportation assistance in the form of gas cards while she’s in class and maintaining employment, as well as additional financial assistance through the Mary Rigg Financial and Family Resources Team in the form of utility assistance.

Trisha attended classes five days a week, virtually, and spent between 16-20 hours per week working on homework, quizzes/tests, and virtual activities. After five months of classes and training, Trisha passed her Medical Billing and Coding State Exam!

Trisha’s next steps include updating her resume, working on some work-place skills, finishing out her contracted services with Mary Rigg, and getting connected to gainful employment (and maintaining said employment).

For most of Trisha’s life, she struggled to find individuals to support and believe in her, but through her participation in the available programming at Mary Rigg, she has since gained support in the form of child-care, employment and financial stability.

Thanks to programs like the Bridges to Career Opportunities program, stories like Trisha’s happen every day. The unending support and funding ensure Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center can persist in being a leader to empower individuals to participate in adult education and job training programs in and around Indianapolis.