Ms. Zykeria Marshall came to enroll with the VA CARES program after being referred to us by ACCESS in January, 2017. ACCESS is a program that works with the LGBT community in helping them get housing, medical, and transportation assistance. Ms. Marshall is one of our many Transgender females who have come to us for assistance over the last year.
Ms. Marshall was incarcerated for 10 years. She stated that when she was released, she knew what she had to do to get back on track. She was determined and committed to changing her life around. One of the things she did was enroll in VA CARES. When Ms. Marshall came into our office to learn about VA CARES, she was also seeking assistance with getting furniture for her apartment. She had already found a place to live, showing her determination and commitment to get her life back on track. Ms. Marshall was given several leads that didn’t really pan out, but she did not get discouraged or give up. Her attitude was so positive that it became infectious. Ms. Marshall then went on to Craigslist and found people that were giving furniture away for free. The staff at HRCAP’s VA CARES was able to assist her with some personal items. Again, showing her determination and commitment, Ms. Marshall enrolled with the EleVate Program to get training in the Medical Assistance field. She will complete her training in June 2017, and then go on to do her internship. Ms. Marshall comes to VA CARES support groups and shares with other participants about the different opportunities she has been able to take advantage of, such as EleVate.
Ms. Marshall is the type of person that is willing to listen and take advice. She is also quick to give of her time to help others. Ms. Marshall has shared in the support groups how her and her family had problems when she first came home, and that it’s been a process, but she now has better communication with her family. In addition, Ms. Marshall calls our office 3 to 4 times a week to keep staff up-to-date with her progress, and when she comes to our office she always has a smile on her face. Attitude is everything. Ms. Marshall’s hobby is cooking, and she loves to cook and post the pictures of the meals on facebook. She is so excited about how much she has accomplished since coming home.
Ms. Marshall is an example of SUCCESS! She is showing how self-determination and commitment, along with support from programs like VA CARES, and taking advantage of available opportunities, can have a positive impact in helping yourself get back on track.