Carlin's Story



Global employment websites have found that the top two mistakes people make when switching careers are rushing into school and not taking advantage of free resources. It is the fear of making mistakes like these that ultimately keep many individuals from making a career switch in the first place, even if they know it is what is best for them.

These fears almost always stem from one common source: lack of funds. Unfortunate but true, everything seems to come down to money. Switching careers can be extremely difficult, and it requires a large amount of time, money, and effort. Successfully changing careers can sometimes even require additional education.

Luckily, former Prosperity Center participant, Carlin, did not make either of these mistakes when making her own major career switch.

Already working full time with an established career in the hotel industry, Carlin began to brainstorm other career pathways for herself. She was searching for a path that would open up more doors for a successful future doing something that she loves. Sure enough, teaching was the first thing that came to her mind. “At the time, I was really just brainstorming ideas to achieve that goal,” Carlin said.

Even in the brainstorming stages of her career change, she aware of the challenges ahead. “It was going to be challenging to study and pay for it at the same time,” Carlin said. The education that Carlin needed to get her teaching certification was an intensive course that came with two large price tags. One being the time commitment and the second being the actual cost of the course.

She knew there was no way to continue working a full-time job and receive her teaching certificate at the same time. “People just don’t work while doing that program,” Carlin said. Although, working a full-time job was the only way she knew how to finance the course. Her initial thoughts of going back to school for the career she wanted, were still just dreams.

That was until a friend of hers recommended that she look into the Prosperity Center Savings Program with United Way of Frederick County. Carlin did not hesitate to reach out to the Prosperity Center for more information. After a phone call she found out that she qualified for the program, and soon opened her first Prosperity Savings account.

A Prosperity Savings Account is a strategy that many low to moderate income individuals use to save money to finance productive assets in their future such as a home, business, or secondary education.

Throughout the program, Carlin worked with a budget coach and took advantage of many resources that ultimately helped her to pay her way through school. For those seeking to continue their education, the Prosperity Center will match every dollar saved.

Through this program Carlin was able to go to school full time and focus on her degree. “The Prosperity Center helped me get my certificate and I didn’t have to worry about working full time to pay for it. They provided me with the financial support to be able to afford my career,” Carlin said.

With the help of the Prosperity Center Savings Account, Carlin has fulfilled her career goal and is currently working as a high school Spanish teacher. “It was really nice because it meant I was able to work in a field that I actually enjoy doing. It was a great opportunity,” Carlin said.

Carlin reflected on her experience, saying that “it was very helpful, they always responded fast, I can only say good things about it. United Way is a great center that helps people achieve their goals.”

With so much support given by both the Frederick community and their partners, United Way is able to continue to assist people like Carlin. The support is greatly appreciated and gives members of the Frederick community a place to turn to when in need.