[J’Nae at home, preparing some broccoli]
J’Nae: My name is J’Nae. I have two children and I’m trying to change the way that we eat and get everything fresh. My daughter is four and she reminds me of me. And my son is Two. So I had my daughter my sophomore year and my son my senior year. I was still able to graduate from Spelman College, which is historically black college. I was the first one and my family to get a college degree. You know after I graduated, I moved back up to Minnesota. My boyfriend at the time was being very abusive and I just had to leave and that’s how I end up being homeless and have to be in the shelter. When it did happen it really struck me like, “wow I’m one of those females who who’s been in domestic violence situation.”
Gala Ingram, Family & Supportive Services Manager [offscreen]: Rapid Re-Housing is one of three housing programs that we have at the YWCA St. Paul. It is considered the lightest touch housing program meaning that it’s the shortest term. We provide a six month rental subsidy to our clients along with nine months of case management.
[J’Nae answers phone at work in background]
J’Nae: I work at Walgreens as the Pharmacy tech.
Adam Stubson, J’Nae’s Supervisor: J’Nae has been a great asset to our team, when she’s here its nose to the grindstone and she loves to ask questions in the pharmacy—what’s this drug do, what’s it for, why do people use it, you know. She’s very curious, always wants to learn and that’s a great asset as an pharmacist.
J’Nae: I go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I attend Century [College] and St. Paul [College].
Sarah Stowell, Instructor, St. Paul College: J’Nae would come bursting through the door in her scrubs from work, sat right in the front row, right in front of me, always attentive, always wanting to learn
J’Nae: And I’m going to get into pharmacy school at the University of Minnesota. I study when I can but I do a lot of studying at night. My day started at seven, probably won’t go to bed to 2 a.m., get right back up at seven. I’m really looking forward to graduating and becoming a pharmacist, no longer needing assistance. Once I get there I feel like I’m just be the happiest person because I’m be a doctor.
Sarah: I see great things for her absolutely. Anybody who has that kind of drive and that kind of energy and focus could do anything they wanted to so, absolutely. Gala: J’Nae has that determination in her to finish school and build a stable foundation for her and her children. Her ultimate goal is to become a doctor, and if anybody in Rapid Re-Housing can do that, I one hundred percent believe J’Nae can do that.