Participating in a service project with her work group led Joi Williams to new opportunities.
“We were cleaning and preparing apartments for residents at Family Scholar House, which is a Metro United Way agency,” said Joi, a former UPS Metro College student. “While there, I learned that the program assists residents by helping them succeed in education and achieve lifelong self-sufficiency. I thought, ‘this might be a program that could help me and my son.’”
Joi researched the Family Scholar House program and scheduled a meeting with an FSH representative. Within a few months, she was participating in the program.
“Working at UPS as a student in the Metro College program and being a resident at Family Scholar House allowed me to finish school successfully and graduate in a reasonable amount of time,” Joi said. “I wanted an environment that allowed me to be focused on my schooling.”
Even though Joi left UPS in 2014 and completed the program at FSH, she is still connected to both UPS and the agency. She volunteers once a month at FSH speaking to participants about her journey through the program, including how UPS and Metro College helped her finish her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Louisville.
“Joi uses a wonderful balance of information and encouragement to engage others in the educational opportunities available through Metro College,” Family Scholar House President and CEO Cathe Dykstra said. “By sharing her personal story, Joi inspires others to believe in themselves and all that is possible with hard work and determination.”
Joi’s degree and experience at UPS helped her obtain her current position as a Recruitment Coordinator and Student Development Counselor for the Metro College program at the University of Louisville. She helps Metro College students with career and academic planning, and works with them one-on-one to help prepare them for their chosen career path. Jill Faul, a UPS recruiting supervisor said the recruiting area works closely with Joi and UofL to recruit for UPS employees and Metro College participants and often sharing a table.
Family Scholar House received a $17,600 grant from UPS in July to use toward updating the technology in their computer labs. “UPS and the UPS Foundation have been wonderful supporters of Family Scholar House and our mission to end poverty through education,” said Cathe. ”We have received generous financial support from the Foundation and have had terrific UPSers who have volunteered to do everything from building shelves and installing speed bumps to creating an obstacle course for field day, from painting 14-foot walls to making snowflakes with children.”
Joi thinks it would be impossible for people to know everything United Way does and how many community organizations they are affiliated with. “I would encourage UPSers to consider contributing to United Way because there is a strong possibility that you or a family member has benefited or will benefit by services provided by United Way, or one of its nonprofit agencies.”