Season for Caring for Shilda
每年, the 奥斯丁 American-Statesman selects 12 deserving families to participate in their Season for Caring giving campaign. These families and individuals are selected from nominations sent in by local nonprofit organizations and have their needs and stories highlighted through a series of stories and videos, while collecting donations on their behalf.
今年, we nominated Shilda Fresch, and we’re thrilled to announce that she was selected to be a part of the campaign.
A Little About Shilda:
Family means everything to Shilda. She grew up in the foster care system and had to endure many hardships. Later as an adult, when she discovered some of her own family member’s children would be separated in the foster care system, she and her husband, Venard, stepped up in a big way. They adopted two of those children and are in the process of adopting the third, which makes a beautiful family of 六个 for this giving, selfless couple.
Venard, a music producer, composer and music engineer by trade, takes on the huge responsibility of staying home to raise their 六个 small children, while Shilda is the primary breadwinner. 不幸的是, during the pandemic, like so many other millions of women nationwide, her work hours were dramatically cut. She reports that most months her post-tax income hovers around $100/month. 食物的成本, 住房, 医疗保健, 运输, student loans and mental healthcare are all contributing to a very dire financial situation for the Fresch family.
But Shilda and Venard continue to persevere. Shilda works as a paraprofessional special education teacher for Travis Heights Elementary School in 奥斯丁. She is also finishing her studies at 奥斯丁 Community College and soon hopes to attend UT or 德州 Tech to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Education.
Dress for Success Provides Direction for Shilda’s Career
Shilda came to Dress for Success 奥斯丁 at the beginning of 2020, seeking support for professional skills to help her prosper at work. She was one of our first graduates of our Path to Employment program, which is a 六个-week job search and mentorship program. Her and her mentor, 莎朗·皮尔斯, met every week and almost a year later, still keep in touch regularly. In fact, they were highlighted in an 奥斯丁 American-Statesman article this past year titled “‘‘I have worth’: Dress For Success brings confidence to women’s pandemic job searches.” Shilda is also a member of our Professional Women’s Group, and attends our webinars and other events when her schedule allows.
Shilda works two jobs, continues her studies to achieve her degree, is active in her community, is a mother of 六个 and still finds ways to grow personally and professionally. She has a passion for children’s television programs and music, so her dream is to one day create her own children’s program.
You Can Make a Difference
Shilda has a personalized wish list of things she and her family want or need that will be published on the official Season for Caring 网站 在11月. In the meantime, if you want to support women like Shilda in their career journeys, you can make a monetary donation to Dress for Success 奥斯丁 在这里.