After moving back to Ohio from Louisiana, Rachael was struggling to find a job that would pay her bills. After finishing a contract job running a summer youth employment program, she watched her small savings account dwindle. She knew her struggle would become insurmountable if she didn’t find help soon.

“I had a couple of job offers for $10 to $12 an hour. It’s hard to live off that in Columbus. I know people do it, but I had student loans to pay off and rent keeps going up here,” she explains. “I wanted to do more than just get by.”

The Per Scholas program, funded in part by United Way, was one she had recommended to youth in the employment program, and she decided to take her own advice. “I was the go-to tech person at several jobs, but I had never really considered it for a career,” Rachael says.

She took a “leap of faith” and applied to the free 14-week training program that opens doors to transformative technology careers for unemployed and underemployed people. The program includes classroom instruction, hands-on training and professional development.

Rachael worked hard and made it through, with help and encouragement from the Per Scholas staff. Today, she has multiple certifications and a job at Nationwide. Her goals for her future include more technology training and a career in cybersecurity. She calls the program “a lifeline” that kept her from sinking deeper into debt and poverty.

“This program changes lives. It gives you the tools and the help to get a good job,” Rachael says. “Nothing changes your trajectory in life more than being able to find a good job.”

Donate today to United Way of Central Ohio’s Community Impact Fund. You’ll provide access and support that helps people overcome barriers to finding good jobs and stable careers.

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