ParticipantsWaukeesha McKinney


The professionalism at NOVA put me into a whole different frame of mind. It helped me get a career with a
path for growth. It came complete with benefits that included annual wage increases, vacation, and paid time
off, it even included a retirement plan complete with 401K options.

NOVA’s helped me make a positive change for me and my family.

Thank You NOVA for reminding me all things are possible if you just have faith!

I am Waukessha McKinney and I have a story…

I moved around a lot /Living in Texas/ Keeping Bad Company / More of a follower than a leader / Naïve/ Bad Marriage/
Things spiraled out of control/ Introduced to Drugs
Lost children- this was the most painful feeling that I had ever felt in my life, the guilt and the humiliation and the disgrace. It was AWFUL….

Where do I go from here? Came back to Louisiana Pregnant/ after the birth of my son / I went back to my same old habits/no coping skills no support / I was on the verge of losing my baby again/ I was determined not to let that happen
Became very serious about trying to get it right / Felt Like God had given me a second chance/ so I found myself a rehab to get myself together
As a part of the long-range rehab process, I moved into Children Home / Met Ms. Karen Haywood

I was looking for a fresh start Karen introduced me to NOVA NOVA was offering Essential Skills Training (interviewing skills, resume writing, coping skills dealing with stress, anger management, financial literacy, and the list goes on)/ Not only did NOVA offer training / they offered HOPE and SUPPORT/
I felt like they truly cared about ME and MY WELL BEING/ They were more a family than a class

After completing the training at NOVA which helped prepare me for employment. They help me secure a job with ARAMARK. It started off Part-time and now I am full-time with excellent benefits. Plus, I have been promoted 3 times…..

Since going to work for Aramark, I have been able to a car, participate in the Aramark Retirement plan, and take care of my family……….. the sky has been the limit.

But as Fate would have it, LIFE came crashing down on me again, the husband that I divorced and separated from many years ago and he who was also the keeper of the children, I lost many years ago became sick and passed away in June of this year. Those children are ages 14 and 12 have returned to me. The past few months have not been easy but by the Grace of God we have made it and we are still making it. Had it not been for the HOPE and SUPPORT that I received from my support group and NOVA, I would not have been able to do what I am able to do NOW…… Thank You NOVA

I am Waukeesha McKinney and I am a NOVA graduate


Monroe, LA