Jamie was a nineteen-year-old single mother when she joined Bright Endeavors in
May 2008. Initially, Jamie expected simply to learn how to make candles but she
quickly realized there was much more to be gained.
Every day presented new challenges for her both at home and at Bright Endeavors.
Outside of Bright Endeavors Jamie had experienced homelessness, inadequate health
care for her son, the loss of family support and the everyday struggles of raising
a newborn baby by herself. Frequently Jamie would come to work appearing to be overwhelmed
by the various day-to-day demands on her, but she was able to find warmth and support
with the staff and participants at Bright Endeavors.
One of Jamie's first struggles was managing a work schedule while meeting the ever-changing
needs of her infant son. On one given morning Jamie appeared to be less connected
to work than usual. She didn't participate in the daily pre-shift meeting and returned
to her work station with little enthusiasm. In most work places this would be misinterpreted
as an employee with a poor attitude and could lead to future workplace issues. Because
of the staffing design of Bright Endeavors, a manager was able to pull her aside
and talk through the negative performance. What became clear was that her behavior
had nothing to do with the work at hand. Her son was ill and Jamie was out of solutions.
The lack of support and erratic suggestions by her doctor to alter her son's diet,
coupled with the clinic's inability to vaccinate her son, sent Jamie into a tailspin.
Reeling from the stress and worry of her son's well being, Jamie was paralyzed and
unable to think of anything else. With Bright Endeavors' support and input Jamie
developed a firm plan; she was able to proactively manage the health care of her
child, find a new pediatrician and elevate her work performance. Now she is a valued
leader on the production floor. She trains new associates in candle production and
often leads pre-shift and post-shift discussions.
In the future Jamie hopes to have a home for her and her son and be on her way to
earning a medical degree, specifically in pediatrics. In her own words, "There aren't
a lot of jobs or programs that you can go into that are actually going to be concerned
with what happens outside of work, and here there is always someone to talk to and
help you with your problems." She embodies our motto, "renewable resources...renewed