40 Stories for 40 Years – Profilee 28
Peggy had four children, no job history, and found herself in an abusive marriage. She went to her local Career Center looking for answers. When she arrived, someone handed her a sticky note with “Ruth Graves at WWC” written on it. She found the courage to call New Ventures Maine (then known as Women, Work, and Community) and picked up the phone. “That one call changed my life,” Peggy shares.
The next day, Peggy attended Ruth’s Employability Effectiveness Training class. She explains, “At that time, I was beaten down, introverted, and lacking a support system.” During the class, she learned about entrepreneurship, different management styles, and transferable skills. After taking the class, Peggy realized she had many skills she hadn’t thought about before. With a newfound sense of empowerment, she was confident that she could create her resume.
Unfortunately, feeling empowered only made her marriage more challenging. So, Peggy ended her marriage, then found herself penniless with four children, no child support, and a mortgage. She began receiving TANF, food stamps, and MaineCare. To make ends meet, she also found work raking blueberries, washing dishes, delivering telephone books, and more.
Knowing that she needed to develop her skills, Peggy decided to take advantage of programs that could help her move forward. She started by participating in small business workshops at New Ventures Maine. Then, received her Class B CDL through Women Unlimited. Next, she attended real estate sales training through the help of TANF. As a result, Peggy’s toolkit began to grow.
Moving forward, she began to find new types of employment. She drove a bus, started her own painting and tiling business, and became a real estate broker. Most recently, Peggy finished first in Maine as Coldwell Banker’s Residential Broker and is now a job creator.
Peggy reflects, “I was a 33-year-old mom of four, introverted and convinced I was ugly and useless. New Ventures Maine gave me the strength and empowerment to change and live my best life.”