Brooke’s Story: How Michigan Works! Helped a Young Procrastinator


Like many young people starting out, Brooke had big plans – move to the city, pursue an education, be self-sufficient. But, also like many, financial issues, car repairs, lack of employment, and lack of a support system caused Brooke to fall behind, quit college, and eventually move back home. Fortunately, Brooke found Michigan Works! and the WIOA Out-of-School Youth Program was able to help her with supportive services, paid work experience, college assistance, vehicle repairs, and more. Thanks to the program, Brooke was able to complete her Bachelors degree and get hired into a position full-time. Here’s her story in her words…


“Right out of high school, I got my associates degree and moved to the city to begin working towards my bachelors degree. Living on my own for the first time and working two to three part time jobs while attending college full time quickly became hard to balance. I found myself neglecting responsibilities at school to pick up more hours at work, and eventually, it was too much to handle. I had to drop out of school just to keep paying the bills. I attempted to go back to school every semester, and every semester something always came up. Two years later, I moved back to my home town of Millersburg to be closer to my support system. I was lucky enough to run into Jeanie Flory, who told me all about her position as a Youth Career Advisor and how Michigan Works! may be able to help me.


The program she described sounded so fantastic I couldn’t believe I had never heard of it before. I jumped at the opportunity to be part of the program and began working with Jeanie for the next two years. She helped me with supportive services, such as purchasing textbooks every semester, obtaining a printer and ink to print my assignments, paying for car insurance and gas mileage to and from school, and repairing my car. Michigan Works! was an integral part of my success as I suddenly became the guardian to a one year old, planned a wedding and got married, and graduated college. Jeanie helped me get an internship at Child and Family Services in Alpena and once my internship was up, I was offered a full-time position as a Case Manager for at-risk and homeless youth in Northeastern Michigan.”