Mary's Journey

I was feeling confused and hopeless...I knew I couldn’t make it on my own.

Mary Bedard found hope.

In June 2016, Mary found herself living in a homeless shelter in Longview, House of Hope. One of the other women living there was participating in Heartisans’ job training program and told Mary about work the organization is doing to help unemployed and underemployed women.

“I was feeling confused and hopeless,” Mary says. “I wanted to start over and a make a new career, something other than a simple fast food job. I knew I couldn’t make it on my own at minimum wage without working a lot of hours.”

Women in the Heartisans program start by taking the WorkKeys assessment to help measure, and then improve on, workplace skills. Work in Heartisans’ manufacturing studios and store help improve their soft skills, with profits from the store helping to support the job training program and meeting the women’s financial needs while they rebuild their lives.

“The hardest part for me is being on the computer for long periods of time,” Mary says. “The part I enjoy the most is the sense of accomplishment I feel when I finish each lesson. I also like that I’m doing something to change my future.” She also enjoyed working with the volunteer tutors who help program participants.

“They are both patient and helpful,” Mary says.

After completing the program, Heartisans helped Mary enter the CNA (certified nursing assistant) course at Kilgore College. Upon completing the course with top scores, Mary returned to Oklahoma to visit family with the hope of repairing relationships and moving home permanently. She and her son are now sharing a home, a local church has provided her with transportation, and she will be able to take the CNA exam for Oklahoma and begin her career there. We are so very excited for Mary and what the future holds for her. Answered prayers!