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April 2, 2013

Working their way up: Program bringing people out of poverty



He said before the move, school principals and even his own mother were afraid for his future. He said he  can’t wait to go back home and show those people his badge from JCPS.

“Don’t let nothing or nobody make you feel like you don’t count,” Boyd said. “Can’t nobody count you out of life. I need you to believe that somebody here is going to be talking to you like I am 10 years down the road.”

Dawne Gee, a news anchor on WAVE 3, also spoke with the residents. She said she didn’t get a job at the television station until after she applied for a ninth time. 

Even then, she didn’t get an opportunity to go on screen for years. Battling lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, she finally made her way on screen when an anchor didn’t come in for work.

She said her when grandchildren color pictures and proclaim themselves the best artists in the world, it reminds her that self-confidence is an important trait to revive if it’s been beaten down with age.

“Where did you all lose that little kid? That one who says, ‘Look at what I did,” Gee said. “It doesn’t even have to be anything big.”

She said celebrating even the smallest of victories can help people bring themselves out of the darkest of situations.



After Gee’s reading of “Cookie’s Week” to children of program participants,  the kids got to pick two brand new books from several piles stacked on tables.

Donohue said Family Self-Sufficiency works with the whole family, including reaching to children by culminating a love of reading and getting parents more involved in their lives.

She said like other facets of the program, the books were secured through grant money. She said helping residents get their education is a paramount goal, but working with the whole family is important.

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