Support through Trials and Tribulations


Reina graduated from Northern Michigan University in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. In July, she accepted her first teaching position at North Star Montessori Academy in Marquette, but she wasn’t living in the area, so she needed to move to start her new career. However, since she was living off her savings, it was difficult to spend the money on the move. 

A family member referred Reina to Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! (UPMW) for assistance. Reina reached out to Escanaba office and met with talent specialists about her situation. UPMW staff discovered that Reina qualified for the WIOA Out-of-School Youth program, and they were able to support her by helping her pay for a U-Haul rental and first month’s rent at a new place in Marquette.  

Once Reina was established in Marquette, UPMW also helped her purchase the teaching certificate she needed to start her career and she could start teaching in the Fall. 

When she started teaching, Reina still needed assistance, so UPMW provided additional support by helping her obtain work clothes and mileage reimbursement. One day Reina’s car broke down, so she started to borrow her mom’s vehicle to get back and forth to work. She contacted her case manager and UPMW was able to assist with car repairs so she could get her vehicle back on the road.  

Reina was thankful for MW assistance and felt that it allowed her to get everything in place for her first year of teaching.