A Woman Warrior’s Story: Kelly, USMC Veteran
“There are not adequate words to describe how grateful I am to have the support of Foundation for Women Warriors. In 2014, I made the transition from the Marine Corps to the civilian world as I set out to become a Registered Dental Hygienist. The next year, I completed a dental assistant program and transitioned to working for a couple of years as an assistant. Dental assisting school was a breeze and I really excelled while working in the dental office, so I applied to a more competitive hygiene program as a next step in my professional development. I had no idea how difficult and demanding the program would be until I started, I just knew that I had a goal and I was going to complete it.
The program was 5, and sometimes 6 days a week with a minimum of 8-hour days. Some days I was in class from 6:30am until 8:30pm. I was spending more time in school and away from my daughter than if I would have been still in the Marine Corps – even on a deployment. Due to the demands of the program I was not able to work, which required me to seek out double the childcare for my daughter through an after-school program and a late-night program. As a single mother I felt as though I made every wrong decision by walking away from a predictable schedule and an organized life that I loved only to be constantly separated from my daughter and under a tremendous financial strain to accomplish my goals.
When I turned to Foundation for Women Warriors, I received an outpouring of support. FFWW was able to help cover the costs of my added childcare expenses. Eliminating that added stress of wondering how I was going to afford my daughter’s care was more than a blessing. But they didn’t stop with financial assistance. FFWW helped me find veteran patients to come in and get their teeth cleaned, allowing me to get necessary experience, and gave me the resources to create flyers to promote these clinics. I was able to post the clinic information on social media and take them to other veteran organizations to seek out patients to complete my program requirements. I am happy to announce that I just graduated from an incredibly challenging dental program. Looking back, I know I couldn’t have graduated without the ongoing and generous support from Foundation of Women Warriors. They truly embody their slogan: “Honor Her Service, Empower Her Future.” – Kelly, USMC Veteran