Once a Client, Now an Employee

Former client, Aurbandy Jackson, explains how she went from receiving services at VOA Texas to giving hope as an employee.

Aurbandy Jackson
Income Support Specialist, VOA Texas

Volunteer of America Texas is heaven sent and I am proud to say I once was a client and now an employee!

What was life like before VOA Texas?

Life was really hard before Volunteers of America Texas. I’m from a small town in Louisiana where my family lived in poverty most of my life. For as long as I can remember my family received government assistance. My husband and I relocated to Houston with our children in 2010. As a mother, I have always wanted something different for my children and that’s why my husband and I made the decision to relocate to Houston. Since relocating, life has been so much better, for once in my life I feel as if I can breathe.

What program did you benefit from?

I was able to benefit from the Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) in Houston, Texas.

How was the program impactful?

The program has impacted my life in many ways. I was able to obtain a certification in order to become employed and my credit is better than it has ever been. Throughout the process of becoming a client and employee I have received so much support from the staff, especially Danita Wadley. She was the person who encouraged me and was there for me anytime I needed her. I must say Danita and the Yale Street Financial Opportunity Center brought out the best in me. The Financial Opportunity Center really works. My husband and I completed the program and we are proud to say that we are now successful because of the greatness of the VOA Texas FOC.

How did it change your life?

I am doing what I love most and that is helping the most venerable and changing lives one day at a time. I worked so hard to get to where I am now without VOA I don’t know where I would be. I walked into the Yale Street Empowerment Center on August 26, 2013 as a broken individual, now I can honestly say I have grown in all aspects of my life, I am happier than I have ever been . With pride and joy I can say I am now the Program Manager of the very program that was there to encourage me and pick me up during one of the worst times of my life. I love what I do at VOA because I was once in the shoes of the clients that I work with, I can identify with them on another level because that was once me. VOA Texas changed my life for the better.

What is life like now?

Anytime I am working with a client and they want to give up, I remind them that with everything you do in life you have to have faith in God. When we don’t trust, we become anxious and fearful. To have faith means to let go of anxiety and fear, and give ourselves to God, trusting God’s love and care for us. Genuine faith is relying on God’s direction and who He is. I then tell them my story and encourage them and reassure them that everything will be okay. They then work harder at achieving their goals.