Archive for the ‘Floyd’ tag

LIHEAP pre-registration begins on Oct. 22   no comments

Posted at 3:00 pm in News

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) is offering pre-registration for the Subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The pre-registration will begin on Monday, October 22, and last until November 2.

BSACAP Executive Director James Michael Howell said pre-registration should prove beneficial to customers.

“The elderly and the disabled have less mobility and it’s harder for them to stand in long lines,” Howell explained. “Pre-registration should cut down on those long lines and help more people access the services.”

Howell added, “We want to stress that, although we’re offering the pre-registration, no applications will be approved until Monday, November 5, the first day of the Subsidy component. No vouchers will be sent to vendors until after November 5th.”

Pre-registration is available to applicants who receive a fixed income and are either 60 years of age and above or who have disabilities.

To be eligible to pre-register, applicants must bring proof they are receiving disability benefits and/or are at least 60 years of age and on a fixed income.

In addition, to qualify for the Subsidy component of LIHEAP, applicants must present the following:

  • Most recent heating bill or proof that heating expenses are included in rent (for example: lease agreement or rent contract);
  • Proof of physical address – bring metered utility bill;
  • Proof of household income for prior month;
  • Birthdates for all household members;
  • Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.

Applicants must apply in their county of residence. Applications will be taken at the following BSACAP service offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

  • Floyd County
    60 Court Street
    Allen
    606-874-3595
  • Johnson County
    230 Court Street
    Paintsville
    606-789-6515
  • Magoffin County
    131 Church Street
    Salyersville
    606-349-2217
  • Martin County
    387 E. Main Street
    Inez
    606-298-3217
  • Pike County
    478 Town Mountain Road
    Pikeville
    606-432-2775

All other applicants may begin applying for Subsidy on Monday, November 5, through Friday, December 14. As in past years, applications will be taken alphabetically, according to the applicant’s last name.

LIHEAP, a national energy assistance initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded in Kentucky by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Community Action Kentucky.

Written by Sarah Hill on October 15th, 2018

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Over $7,000 in scholarships given by BSACAP   no comments

Posted at 3:18 pm in News
Eula Hall and Amy Combs

Eula Hall presented the first ever Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship to Amy Combs, of Garrett, earlier this month at the Eula Hall Health Center on Mud Creek. Combs is in her final year at Morehead State University where she is studying to become a substance abuse counselor.

Each year Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) is afforded the opportunity to present students in their service area with scholarships to help them attend college or vocational school. This year nine people across Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Martin, and Magoffin Counties received a total of over $7,000 in funds to help them pursue their educational goals. This amount includes the newest award offered by the agency; the Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship.

The Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship is a $2,000 prize awarded to an individual who is majoring in Social Work, Human Services, Public Services, or a related field; has a history of volunteer work; is in at least their third year of study; and has a financial need.
Mike Howell, Executive Director of BSACAP, said that Eula Hall has served on the agency’s board of directors for 36 years and that her work in the community should be an inspiration to the next generation of advocates. “She is truly an advocate for our people. From her work to build and expand the Mud Creek Clinic to her work for black lung patients and workers’ rights or even just helping people get through the end of the month by making sure they have food or medicine, she is a woman of the people and we are lucky to have her.”

The winner of the first ever Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship is Amy Combs of Garrett. Combs is in her final year at Morehead State University where she is studying to become a substance abuse counselor. As a recovering addict herself, she is passionate about helping other people find their way out of substance abuse and onto a fulfilling life. Combs attends school full-time, works full-time, and is a single mother with two sons. In her free time she coaches boys’ basketball. She has previously volunteered with local senior citizens centers and at a local shelter.

BSACAP Deputy Director Wanda Thacker said, “Amy has expressed interest in staying in the area to work and serve the people here. She has overcome hardship and has shown a real passion for caring for other people. She is just the sort of person we’re looking for to carry the torch and we know she will do good things.”

Seven Community Service Block Grant scholarships were also awarded. These scholarships are available to students who reside in Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike counties who demonstrate a financial need and write an essay explaining why their education is important and why they deserve the scholarship. This year’s winners are as follows:

Montana Adams, of Prestonsburg, will be studying Secondary Mathematics Education at Alice Lloyd College. Jessica Hill, of Betsy Lane, will be studying Medical Information Technology at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Shawn Kidd, of Drift, will be studying Nursing at the Galen College of Nursing. Caitlin Little, of Pikeville, will be studying Nursing at Pikeville College. Reaford May Jr., of Elkhorn City, will be studying at Bellevue University. Evan Prince, of Lovely, will be studying Psychology at Morehead State University. Juanita Vickers, of Hardy, will be studying Social Work at Morehead State University.

Wanda Thacker, Deputy Director of BSACAP, said, “Through these scholarships we are trying to give a little extra help for the expenses they might incur during the school year. We really applaud these students for making the choice to continue their education and we are grateful for the opportunity to encourage them on their way.”

The BSACAP scholarship application period begins in May and ends in June each year. Scholarship funding is made possible by Community Services Block Grant with funds made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The 2018 CSBG Scholarship winners were presented with their awards earlier this month at Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s Johnson County Office. Front row: Caitlin Little, Juanita Vickers, Jessica Hill, Shawn Kidd, BSACAP Executive Director Mike Howell. Back row: Montana Adams, Evan Prince, Reaford May Jr., BSACAP Deputy Director Wanda Thacker.

Written by Sarah Hill on August 17th, 2018

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Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship, CSBG Academic Scholarships available to students   no comments

Posted at 9:20 am in News

Each year Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) distributes $7,000 in scholarships to students in the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County area. This year, the nonprofit organization has changed up their offerings and has announced the creation of the Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship.

The Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship will be one $2,000 scholarship offered to students majoring in Social Work, Human Services, Public Services, or related fields. Applicants must be in at least their third year of post-secondary study, must have a record of volunteerism, and must fulfill the requirements of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Scholarship application.

Eula Hall has lived her life as an advocate for the workers, children, and families of the region. She served with the Volunteers in Service to America, the Appalachian Volunteers, the East Kentucky Worker’s Rights Organization, and as president of the Kentucky Black Lung Association. She created the Mud Creek Water District, and in 1973, established the Mud Creek Clinic to serve uninsured and underinsured people. The Mud Creek Clinic, now known at the Eula Hall Health Center, offers general clinic care, pharmacy, dental care, optometry, mental health services, patient transportation, public benefits guidance, and a food pantry. She has served on the BSACAP Board of Directors for more than 35 years.

BSACAP Executive Director Mike Howell said, “Our organization wanted to thank Eula for the work she has done for Community Action and honor her for the leadership and care that she has given to the people in our area. We also want to see a new generation of strong advocates for eastern Kentucky rise up and continue the fight against poverty.”

BSACAP will also be offering ten $500 CSBG Academic Scholarship to students in the area.

If you are a student entering or returning to college or vocational school this fall and are in need of financial assistance, you may be eligible for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Academic Scholarship.

Applicants must provide the following information and/or documentation to apply for the scholarship:

  • Meet income eligibility as determined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Provide proof of residency within the BSACAP service area via utility bill or piece of first class mail postmarked within 30 days of application
  • Complete and sign an application available at any BSACAP Community Services office
  • Complete a Family Profile according to CSBG guidelines
  • Provide proof of a high school diploma or GED
  • Provide proof of cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better from last semester of high school or last completed semester of college
  • Provide two letters of reference
  • Provide proof of enrollment or acceptance in a post-secondary educational institution for the Fall 2017 semester/term
  • Write an essay on why they feel they should receive the award

Applicants who have earned a 4-year degree or are pursuing education levels of Master’s Degree and above are not eligible. BSACAP staff and family members of staff are not eligible to apply.

For further information or to pick up an application, applicants may contact the Big Sandy Area Community Action Program Services Office in their county. Completed applications and required documentation must be received by mail no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 29, 2018. Scholarships will be awarded no later than July 31, 2018.

Office hours are 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Office locations are as follows:

  • Floyd County – 60 Court Street, Allen – (606) 874-3595
  • Johnson County – Johnson County Court House, 230 Court Street, Paintsville – (606) 789-6515
  • Magoffin County – 131 South Church Street, Salyersville – (606) 349-2217
  • Martin County – Roy F. Collier Community Center, Suite 203, Inez – (606) 298-3217
  • Pike County – 478 Town Mountain Road, Pikeville – (606) 432-2775

Scholarship funding is made possible by Community Services Block Grant with funds made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Written by Sarah Hill on May 15th, 2018

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Garden Seed voucher program signups April 2-6   no comments

Posted at 2:34 pm in News

Applications for Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s annual Garden Seed Program will be taken on a first come, first serve basis April 2 – 6 at the BSACAP offices.

The Garden Seed Program offers qualifying low-income households $40 in vouchers to purchase seeds, plants, and fertilizer at local vendors so that area families can build a garden at their home.

“It’s a very simple program, but one that add tremendous value to the people we serve,” said Big Sandy Area Community Action Program Executive Director Mike Howell. “Our mission is to help low-income people become more self-sufficient, and the Garden Seed Program accomplishes that by helping people to get access to fresh and healthy food and lowering their grocery bill.”

To be eligible for the program, a household must:

  • Meet income eligibility guidelines
  • Provide proof of income from the previous month
  • Have the social security numbers for all household members
  • Bring a metered utility bill to verify their address

Applications will be taken 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., April 2-6, at the BSACAP offices.
Click here for a list of phone numbers and addresses.

Last year, 376 households in the BSACAP service area of Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike counties received garden seed vouchers. Clients grow and maintain their gardens by themselves and are able to reap the fruits of their labor. Late in the summer. BSACAP will also host a workshop to help clients and the public to learn how to can, freeze, and preserve their produce.

Written by Sarah Hill on March 22nd, 2018

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LIHEAP Crisis Heating Assistance Available   no comments

Posted at 10:08 am in News

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) will be taking applications for the Crisis component of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis until March 31 or until funds are exhausted.

The Crisis component of LIHEAP provides assistance to low-income households experiencing heating emergencies.

Households are considered to be in a home heating crisis if:

  • the household is within four days of running out of fuel if bulk fuel (coal, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, or wood) is the primary heating source; or
  • the household has received a disconnect notice if natural gas or electric is the heating source; or
  • the household’s home heating costs are included in the rent and the household has received an eviction notice for non-payment of rent.

To be eligible for Crisis assistance, households must verify their address, verify a heating crisis exists and meet federal income eligibility guidelines. Applicants also must apply in their county of residence.

In addition, applicants must present the following:

  • Proof of household income for prior month;
  • Birthdates for all household members;
  • Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.

Applications will be taken at the following BSACAP service offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

 

Floyd County

60 Court Street

Allen, Ky.

606-874-3595

 

Martin County

387 E. Main Street

Inez, Ky.

606-298-3217

Johnson County

230 Court Street

Paintsville, Ky.

606-789-6515

 

Pike County

478 Town Mountain Road

Pikeville, Ky.

606-432-2775

Magoffin County

131 S. Church Street

Salyersville, Ky.

606-349-2217

 

 

LIHEAP, a national energy assistance initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded in Kentucky by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Community Action Kentucky.

 

Written by Sarah Hill on January 3rd, 2018

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Heating assistance subsidy signups end Friday, Dec. 15   no comments

Posted at 2:46 pm in News

The subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), administered by Big Sandy Area Community Action, will end this Friday, December 15th. Low-income individuals and families in need of assistance should visit the Community Action office in their county before 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills. By ensuring proper heating, the risk of health and safety problems such as illness, fire, or eviction is reduced. This important federal program helps provide heating assistance to over 100,000 families in Kentucky each year.  It operates in two components:  the subsidy component and the crisis component.

Individuals seeking assistance during the subsidy component must meet income eligibility requirements and bring the following information with them when they sign up:

  1. Proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for EACH member of the household. In order to receive assistance you MUST bring EVERY Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for each member.
  2. Proof of ALL household’s (ALL MEMBERS) income from previous month.
  3. Most CURRENT heating bill, statement from your landlord if heating expenses are included in rent, statement from utility company if you participate in Pre-Pay Electric Program.
  4. The ACCOUNT NUMBER and NAME on the account for ALL heating fuel sources and electric.

You do not have to have a “disconnect” notice during the subsidy component of LIHEAP.

Applicants should bring their documents to the Community Action office in their county. If an applicant cannot apply in person, contact the office to make other arrangements.

  • Floyd County
    60 Court Street
    Allen
    606-874-3595
  • Johnson County
    230 Court Street
    Paintsville
    606-789-6515
  • Magoffin County
    131 Church Street
    Salyersville
    606-349-2217
  • Martin County
    387 E. Main Street
    Inez
    606-298-3217
  • Pike County
    478 Town Mountain Road
    Pikeville
    606-432-2775

All eligible applicants will receive a benefit amount that is based on their income and primary fuel type.  Benefit amounts vary based on individual situations. All vouchers are paid directly to the primary fuel vendor with no funds being distributed directly to the applicant household.

Applications for the subsidy portion of LIHEAP will not be taken after Friday, December 15.

The crisis component of LIHEAP will not begin until Monday, January 8th.

The crisis component has the same income eligibility as the subsidy component with the additional requirement that the household must have a “disconnect” notice from their utility company or they must self-certify that they are within four days of running out of their bulk fuel source such as wood, coal, kerosene or fuel oil. Benefit levels are determined by the amount needed to prevent disconnection or the amount needed to ensure a deliverable amount of bulk fuel. The crisis component operates on a first come first serve basis and will be in operation until March 31st or until funds have been expended.

LIHEAP is funded through Community Action Kentucky (CAK), the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Written by Sarah Hill on December 11th, 2017

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Heating assistance (LIHEAP) subsidy signups begin Nov. 6   no comments

Posted at 1:17 pm in News

The subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), administered by Big Sandy Area Community Action, will begin this Monday, November 6th. Low-income individuals and families in need of assistance should visit the Community Action office in their county between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applications will be accepted alphabetically by last name.

LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills. By ensuring proper heating, the risk of health and safety problems such as illness, fire, or eviction is reduced. This important federal program helps provide heating assistance to over 100,000 families in Kentucky each year.  It operates in two components:  the subsidy component and the crisis component.

Individuals seeking assistance during the subsidy component must meet income eligibility requirements and bring the following information with them when they sign up:

  1. Proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for EACH member of the household. In order to receive assistance you MUST bring EVERY Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for each member.
  2. Proof of ALL household’s (ALL MEMBERS) income from previous month.
  3. Most CURRENT heating bill, statement from your landlord if heating expenses are included in rent, statement from utility company if you participate in Pre-Pay Electric Program.
  4. The ACCOUNT NUMBER and NAME on the account for ALL heating fuel sources and electric.

You do not have to have a “disconnect” notice during the subsidy component of LIHEAP.

All eligible applicants will receive a benefit amount that is based on their income and primary fuel type.  Benefit amounts vary based on individual situations. All vouchers are paid directly to the primary fuel vendor with no funds being distributed directly to the applicant household.

Households should choose the date that contains the first letter of the head of household’s last name.

Nov. 6 – A Nov. 13 – C Nov. 20 – H Nov. 27 – I, J Dec. 4 – M Dec. 11 – S
Nov. 7 – B Nov. 14 – D, E Nov. 21 – H Nov. 28 – K Dec. 5 – N Dec. 12 – T
Nov. 8 – B Nov. 15 – F Nov. 22 – Closed Nov. 29 – L Dec. 6 – O, P Dec. 13 – U, V, W
Nov. 9 – C Nov. 16 – G Nov. 23 – Closed Nov. 30 – M Dec. 7 – Q, R Dec. 14 – X, Y, Z
Nov. 10 – Closed Nov. 17 – Open Nov. 24 – Closed Dec. 1 – Open Dec. 8 – Open Dec. 15 – Open

 

Applicants should bring their documents on their alphabetically assigned day to the Community Action office in their county. If an applicant cannot apply on their assigned day, contact the office to make other arrangements.

  • Floyd County
    60 Court Street
    Allen
    606-874-3595
  • Johnson County
    230 Court Street
    Paintsville
    606-789-6515
  • Magoffin County
    131 Church Street
    Salyersville
    606-349-2217
  • Martin County
    387 E. Main Street
    Inez
    606-298-3217
  • Pike County
    478 Town Mountain Road
    Pikeville
    606-432-2775

Applications for the subsidy portion of LIHEAP will not be taken after Friday, December 15.

The crisis component of LIHEAP will not begin until Monday, January 8th.

The crisis component has the same income eligibility as the subsidy component with the additional requirement that the household must have a “disconnect” notice from their utility company or they must self-certify that they are within four days of running out of their bulk fuel source such as wood, coal, kerosene or fuel oil. Benefit levels are determined by the amount needed to prevent disconnection or the amount needed to ensure a deliverable amount of bulk fuel. The crisis component operates on a first come first serve basis and will be in operation until March 31st or until funds have been expended.

LIHEAP is funded through Community Action Kentucky (CAK), the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Written by Sarah Hill on October 25th, 2017

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BSACAP to start LIHEAP pre-registration for elderly and disabled on Oct. 23   no comments

Posted at 11:54 am in News

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) is offering pre-registration for the Subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The pre-registration will begin on Monday, October 23, and last until November 6.

BSACAP Executive Director James Michael Howell said pre-registration should prove beneficial to customers.

“The elderly and the disabled have less mobility and it’s harder for them to stand in long lines,” Howell explained. “Pre-registration should cut down on those long lines and help more people access the services.”

Howell added, “We want to stress that, although we’re offering the pre-registration, no applications will be approved until Monday, November 6, the first day of the Subsidy component. No vouchers will be sent to vendors until after November 6th.”

Pre-registration is available to applicants who receive a fixed income and are either 60 years of age and above or who have disabilities.

To be eligible to pre-register, applicants must bring proof they are receiving disability benefits and/or are at least 60 years of age and on a fixed income.

In addition, to qualify for the Subsidy component of LIHEAP, applicants must present the following:

  • Most recent heating bill or proof that heating expenses are included in rent (for example: lease agreement or rent contract);
  • Proof of physical address – bring metered utility bill;
  • Proof of household income for prior month;
  • Birthdates for all household members;
  • Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.

Applicants must apply in their county of residence. Applications will be taken at the following BSACAP service offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

  • Floyd County
    60 Court Street
    Allen
    606-874-3595
  • Johnson County
    230 Court Street
    Paintsville
    606-789-6515
  • Magoffin County
    131 Church Street
    Salyersville
    606-349-2217
  • Martin County
    387 E. Main Street
    Inez
    606-298-3217
  • Pike County
    478 Town Mountain Road
    Pikeville
    606-432-2775

All other applicants may begin applying for Subsidy on Monday, November 6, through Friday, December 15. As in past years, applications will be taken alphabetically, according to the applicant’s last name.

LIHEAP, a national energy assistance initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded in Kentucky by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Community Action Kentucky.

Written by Sarah Hill on October 12th, 2017

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Weatherization helps lower energy bills   no comments

Posted at 11:52 am in News

Lora Bryant of Floyd County stands in her home which was weatherized with the assistance of BSACAPs Weatherization Assistance Program.

Lora Bryant of Floyd County has lived in her home for nearly 17 years, but began to have more and more trouble keeping her house warm.

Bryant explained that the rooms in the home didn’t heat equally and that in order to sleep in the bedrooms during the winter, extra heaters and blankets would be needed. “When you got up in the morning, the floor would be like ice,” she said. But the most troubling issues she found were a constant draft in the living room and monthly heating bills between $200 and almost $300.

Bryant saw a flyer in her local post office about Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s Weatherization Assistance Program and thought that maybe she could get some help figuring out her home heating issues.

BSACAP Weatherization Assistance Program inspector Steve Mullins and his crew assessed the home and discovered that, in addition to the major draft, there was very little insulation in the attic and none at all under the home. Inspector Mullins explained that essentially warm air was escaping the house as fast as it was coming in. He calculated the correct amount of insulation required for the home and used a blower door to measure the airflow out the home.

The crew then got to work and added the proper amount of insulation to the attic and beneath the house. They sealed off the draft and also found worn insulation on the home’s duct work, which they replaced with better quality insulation.

The Weatherization Crew also ensured that Bryant had a working heating system and installed a carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector to improve the home’s safety. The crew also installed a CFM vent designed to improve air quality. Bryant also qualified for a refrigerator replacement that upgraded him to a more energy efficient model.

After the work was completed, the amount of warm air escaping the house was reduced by three times and Bryant’s electric bills steadily decreased. “It is comfortable all over this house now,” she said, adding that the Weatherization Crew completed the work on her home during the hottest time of the year and never complained. “They did such a thorough job and checked everything. They were such a good crew. I was totally amazed by what they did.”

The Weatherization Assistance Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by the Kentucky Housing Corporation.

Written by Sarah Hill on September 29th, 2017

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Floyd Countian beating the odds with WIOA   no comments

Posted at 11:41 am in News

Stressful jobs and stressful situations can cause many of us to collapse under the pressure, but Floyd Countian Chavella Kelly has the skills to prioritize, stay positive, and reach out for a little help to keep her going, which is perfect for an aspiring trauma nurse. Kelly reached out to Big Sandy Area Community Action Program to help her stay on top of it all.

“I always wanted to be in the medical field,” she said. “I was a CNA [Certified Nursing Aid] straight out of high school.” When Kelly became pregnant with her daughter, she knew what her top priority was and she became a full-time stay-at-home mom.

After spending those important first years with her daughter, Kelly knew it was time to get back to school, so she enrolled in classes and applied to the nursing program at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. While balancing caring for her daughter and furthering her education, Kelly heard about a program offered through Big Sandy Area Community Action Program that could help her pay for school.

“I called as soon as my friend told me about it, and then I met with Trina about it,” she said. Trina Yeary is a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Career Advisor with Big Sandy Area Community Action Program. Career Advisors provide an array of services that help people re-enter the workforce or gain the skills for new, better jobs and careers. In addition to assistance to dislocated or underemployed adult workers, the agency also provides workforce services to at-risk youth and area employers. As a Career Advisor, Yeary works every day to help those in her region find gainful employment through job searches, retraining, or, as in Kelly’s case, working toward a college degree.

“It usually takes a long time when you’re trying to get in with programs. I mean, even with financial aid at school it takes forever,” Kelly said. “This was done and ready whenever I started school in August, so within a month, and all I had to do was set up an appointment with Trina, and then I gave her my school schedule and that was it.”

After her first semester back at school, Kelly was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. “I had surgery in January, right after I started the second semester, but I went straight back. I was out for two weeks, and then I went straight back.”

“I think school for anybody in the nursing program would be hard, but the obstacles that Chavella has faced this semester—I think it’s amazing what she’s done,” Yeary said. “If she had come to me and said, ‘Hey, I can’t go to school this semester,’ I mean, that’s kind of what I expected, not just from her, but from anybody. She never once mentioned giving up,” Yeary said. “A lot of people couldn’t pass the nursing program if that’s all they had going on, and she managed to pass the semester despite all of the odds.”

Kelly adds that she has had to undergo radiation treatments, the first of which was in the middle of her second semester. “I had extremely supportive staff, our professors. We were able to record their lectures to where I didn’t really miss anything. I was allowed to make up everything,” she said. “The type of cancer I have is extremely curable, so I stayed extremely optimistic the whole time, even now.”

Kelly credits her success to the assistance she received from Yeary and Big Sandy Area Community Action Program. “I couldn’t have done this on my own. I work, but I still wouldn’t have made enough money to pay for it,” Kelly said, adding that the relationship she was able to build with her Career Advisor was also helpful. “I can talk to Trina about anything. I wasn’t expecting anything like that. She makes sure everything’s done and smooth with school. That way, if I forget to turn in something, Trina’s like, ‘I need this.’”

Yeary said, “It’s not like coming into an office and just doing paperwork and stuff—from the very beginning it’s not like that. I think we really take the time to get to know people and to know what they want to do. We try to make it all about them, and I think we really care about our people—that’s just who we are as Career Advisors.”

Facing a difficult program of study, caring for a toddler, working, and having cancer treatments, Chavella Kelly is still moving forward and creating a better life for herself and her family, with just a little push from Big Sandy Area Community Action Program.

BSACAP provides Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) career advising services in Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike counties under contract with the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP).

Written by Sarah Hill on September 29th, 2017

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