Shantell’s Story: Better than a Fairy Tale

by Pat Bryan, Former Site Coordinator

We all know that “Once upon a time fairy tales” aren’t real; they make us feel good but are only dreams. The first time I met Shantell was when she arrived at First Baptist Church Garner CWJC classes on Wednesday evening, August 23rd, 2006, with a group of ladies from the Helen Wright Center, a homeless shelter for women in Raleigh. She had come to Raleigh from California. Shantell attended all 13 sessions. She always participated in the discussions and had a positive attitude, despite having to live in the shelter. Shantell says, “The CWJC classes were training for life. They were so motivational, not judgmental.”  Every week she was encouraged!

After getting a temporary job (which we all hoped would become permanent but didn’t), Shantell was able to move into her own apartment.  The Garner women and other participants gave her the basic necessary items to furnish her place.

On the first Saturday in January, I invited Shantell to join my Sunday School class in working at the North Raleigh Ministries. She signed up to clean the kitchen and did a super job! During this work session, Paula Jones, one of our members got to meet Shantell and was impressed with her hard work and great attitude.

As their friendship developed, Paula became burdened for Shantell. Paula, a 30-year employee at Nationwide Insurance, learned of job openings and assisted Shantell in the application process. After interviewing successfully, Shantell started her new job on Feb. 20th with full benefits. After one year at Nationwide, the company will pay for her to go to college.  She has even become involved in mentoring another woman, and in August of 2007, Shantell will become a part of the advisory board of the CWJC of the Raleigh Baptist Association.

On behalf of Shantell, thank you, Garner teachers/mentors, other participants, Paula, prayer partners, and financial supporters. Shantell has experienced God’s work in her life through the working together of gifted, caring women like you!  It’s not a fairy tale. That paycheck will be real and pay for rent and food—and maybe even a good used car!