J.P. Morgan Chase gave two hundred thousand dollars to the Monroe Chamber of Commerce. The money will be used to help strengthen the city’s economy, specifically the NOVA program, which finds people down on their luck and helps build them up.
NOVA stands for New Opportunities Vision and Achievement. It’s a program dedicated to giving people in this community a leg up while climbing the ladder to success.
One of theose people is Allyson Bartie, a woman who was once broken, with three kids and nowhere to go.
Bartie was a victim of domestic violence and remembers the moment she had to find a way to get a better life for her and her children.
“It had come to a point where he was threatening me, himself and the kids so I found that detrimental that I needed to get out,” Barite said.
She was referred to NOVA by The Well Spring, a shelter for battered women, and they introduced her to an opportunity at St. Francis Medical Center that would turn her life around.
SHE NOW HAS A JOB TRAINING IN THEIR NURSING ASSISTANT PROGRAM. THERE SHE FOUND A PERMANENT POSITION…AND HER PURPOSE IN LIFE. HELPING OTHERS. She now has a job training in their Nursing Assistant Program. There she found a permanent position and her purpose in life.
“I like helping people,” Bartie said.
“I just didn’t know that was my was what I was good at until I got in the program.”
Sue Nicholson is the CEO of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and she was as proud of Bartie’s success as anyone.
“It gives you chills and it’s from just rooting for someone who wanted to find a good job and has,” Nicholson said.
“It really makes us recognize the importance of the work we do when we can help people like Allyson.”
The NOVA Mission is to find more people like Bartie and help them get their lives back on track.
NOVA Development planner, Juanita Woods, has built a close relationship with Bartie and many others since she has been a part of the program and hopes her stories like hers continue to inspire.
“We’re hoping that other people will hear that story and people that have similar stories will come to us too,” Woods said.
“How do you change things. One person at a time and that’s what we’re hoping to do.”