Understanding Through Experience

9 years 8 months 2 weeks ago March 19, 2007 Mar 19, 2007 Monday, March 19 2007 Monday, March 19, 2007 8:53:48 PM CDT in News

Michelle has three sons and a daughter, all under the age of ten. Her husband injured his knee and was unable to work. Michelle's job as a gas station attendant didn't bring in enough money to feed her family.

"We were living off a small paycheck, $5.15 per hour, and it got to where paycheck to paycheck wasn't paying the bills," Michelle said.

Michelle found herself in a situation she could do little to change.

"Nobody wants to be in poverty. If you ask somebody do you want to live this way, they're going to tell you no. This is not the way we want to live," Cherry Merchant of the Circle Program said.

Michelle found herself struggling with more than just a money shortage.

"To me, I thought I was the scum on somebody's shoes. The middle class are wealthy. I thought nobody would talk to me. Nobody would recognize me in poverty...To actually go to someone and ask for help. It's very hard," Michelle said.

Michelle found help from Job Point at the Marshall Career Center.

"She didn't have much self esteem because they had been in a poverty situation for some time. It was just hard on her so we made the determination that she was going to go back to school," Michelle's Job Point Advisor, Mary Ann Piper, said.

School was Michelle's missing piece. She took night classes in business technology and graduated at the top of her class. Job Point then connected Michelle with an internship at the Missouri Valley Community Action Agency.

Michelle went on to write legislators telling them of the plight of the poor. She won a state essay contest and helped organize a 180 mile walk to end poverty.

"During that walk, we had rallies in several of our counties and she got up and told her story and challenged the community to help end poverty," said Ann Graff of Missouri Valley Community Action. "Many times when people come to us for services, they're in crisis mode and having that experience herself, she has an empathy that many people who've been through that do not have."

Michelle's employers were so impressed with their intern, they hired her full time. Now she's helping others build their own financial framework.

"People need to stop and reognize people who are in poverty don't choose to be there. A lot of us don't choose to be there. We just don't have the resources to get out. And that's where now, I now have the resources to get out. It's now my job to help," Michelle said.

Michelle was one of four people honored with an Award of Excellence from Job Point.

More News

Grid
List
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri woman faces 12 years in federal prison for leading a fraud scheme. The U.S.... More >>
29 minutes ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 3:29:38 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Over 40 local authors showed off their work and networked with other writers at the Local Authors Open... More >>
1 hour ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 2:55:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Around 10 a.m. Saturday, a man driving his car northbound near Highway 63 and Stadium flipped over. No... More >>
4 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 11:38:33 AM CST in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have struggled to find a way to pay for repairs along thousands of miles... More >>
5 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 10:59:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri is seeing a startling decline in methamphetamine lab seizures, but it isn't because users are... More >>
5 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 10:50:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Women's Symphony League kicked off the annual Holiday Home Tour, which is its biggest fundraiser of the... More >>
11 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 4:12:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Jefferson City Fire Department responded to reports of smoke coming from a building in the 200 block... More >>
12 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 3:57:00 AM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Following the election of Donald Trump, some students gathered for what they called a "positivity event". KOMU sent... More >>
20 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 7:05:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are proposing bills that would make attacking a law enforcement officer a hate crime.... More >>
23 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:51:13 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Lawmakers are proposing bills that would make Missouri a right-to-work state. The Springfield News-Leader... More >>
23 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:46:41 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former Kansas City, Missouri, man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his... More >>
23 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:23:47 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Nixon and his wife Georganne kicked off the holiday season in the state's capital with Friday's... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:36:00 PM CST in News
POPLAR BLUFF (AP) — A Missouri man who spent eight years behind bars for murder has been acquitted in a... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:26:56 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities said fireworks that were mistaken for gunshots led to a standoff near Rockhurst University. ... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:09:14 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The former general manager of a suburban St. Louis car dealership is accused of defrauding the... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:05:38 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The incoming president of the University of Missouri System and officials attending a welcoming ceremony in... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:00:15 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A $2,000 donation will help protect South Callaway residents from potentially deadly house fires. Safeco Insurance's Protecting... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 2:52:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Fulton woman has pleaded guilty to money-laundering related to distributing synthetic cannabinoids, or K2, at businesses... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 2:45:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
4pm 44°
5pm 42°
6pm 41°
7pm 40°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:30p
PGA Tour Golf
4:00p
Skiing
5:00p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
Rookie Blue
4:00p
Rookie Blue
5:00p
Cops Reloaded

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
It's a Wonderful Life
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld