In March 2013, Bridgette, a single parent to a 2-year-old daughter, came to Blueprints seeking safe housing and reliable transportation. Though Bridgette grew up in Allegheny County, she had dropped out of high school before graduation. She took courses online, but ultimately, her goal was to return to high school to obtain her diploma. After her caseworker Anna helped her gather her transcripts and arrange a meeting with local school officials, the superintendent advised her to complete classes and obtain her GED instead of returning to school full time. Bridgette was initially reluctant, but agreed.
Bridgette enrolled in Blueprints’ Work Ready program and began attending GED classes. In addition to working on readiness skills for the workplace and securing safe housing, she studied for her GED test and her driver’s permit test. Bridgette earned her permit on July 9, 2013. Unfortunately, due to a car accident, she left the program in August 2013.
Bridgette returned to the Work Ready program in June 2014. She was pregnant and in a relationship with a significant other in a stable housing arrangement. She had matured since her initial referral and she had a strong desire to earn her GED. She passed her first two exams, but excused herself from the program to give birth to her son on September 4, 2014.
Bridgette returned to the Work Ready program a third time in May 2016. This time, her driver’s permit was renewed and she could pick up where she left off. She passed her third exam and excused herself again to give birth to her second daughter on June 18, 2016. She attempted to return in September 2016, but her employment prevented her from re-enrolling.
In January 2018, Bridgette’s DHS caseworker arranged for her to attend the Work Ready program. Her significant other agreed to provide childcare so she could complete her GED testing. Bridgette studied hard while performing her required community service projects. She also participated in Blueprints’ Family Literacy and 2GEN programs, where she began to explore a career pathway in the medical field and gain skills to pursue it. When her significant other obtained employment, she was excused from the program as childcare was no longer available for her. Nevertheless, Bridgette persisted and continued to prepare for her final GED exam with the support of her instructors. On May 25, 2018, she passed her final exam and earned her GED certification.
Bridgette is hopeful that she can continue to move forward by passing her road test and earning her driver’s license. She also wants to pursue a degree in a post-secondary education program. She is a testament to persistence and her patience continues to pay off. We are proud of Bridgette and grateful that our imprint on her life made all the difference.