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Michigan Works Youth Career Advisor Helps Teen Overcome Loss, Complete Education, and Work on Future

Zack began working with his Michigan Works! Youth Career Advisor, Jeanie, in July of 2022. He had recently lost his father in a car accident and needed guidance to help him graduate high school.

Jeanie worked with Zack to overcome some of his barriers to physically getting back and forth to school and assisted him with his grieving process. Zack would often contact Jeanie with any big or little question he had, as he was not close with his step-mother or mother after his father passed away. On his path to graduation, Zack would often call, text, or stop by the office to meet with Jeanie.

When Zack decided to move to Gaylord and live with his mother, since things weren’t going well with his step-mom after his dad’s passing, Jeanie was able to assist with mileage reimbursement so Zack could get back and forth to school.

Youth Career Advisor Jeanie helped Zack to complete his requirements for graduation, staying on top of him and keeping him accountable. She also was there for him, to help him work through his feelings, and always lent an ear if Zach wanted to vent his personal issues. There was often back and forth banter between Zack and Jeanie to make sure Zack stayed in school; Jeanie stayed on Zack by keeping track of his attendance and grades. Zack was always very open with his Advisor as to why he wouldn’t or didn’t do something that was required for school, and Jeanie continued to push Zack to his fullest potential. She helped him complete his Portfolio (a requirement to graduate) and helped him obtain full-time employment at Lowes. She even offered guidance when Zack came to her stating he had obtained a lump sum of money from his father’s passing and wasn’t sure how to handle the situation – Jeanie suggested he speak with a financial advisor and Zack reported he was grateful for the suggestion.

There were some bumps along the road, but Zack graduated in May 2023. Zack was very excited about overcoming this hurdle and was bubbling with joy when he came into Jeanie’s office to show off his high school diploma.

Zack told Jeanie, "Thank you! If it wasn't for you, I would not have graduated and be where I am now".

“Honestly Michigan Works! helped me more than I ever thought I could get …with how crappy years 2022 and 23 were for me. In my honest opinion, I think Jeanie is the only reason I stayed in high school. I can thank Michigan Works! for helping me with working on my future - both in school/work and my personal life - so thank you Jeanie and the Michigan Works team!”

Thankfully, with funding from the WIOA Youth program and Jobs for Michigan Graduates, Zack was able to get the assistance he desperately needed. Zack now lives in Gaylord and continues to work full time. He has proven to himself and others, where there is a will, there is a way.


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