Taking Future Steps: Fern & Lauren

Lauren and Fern – SLAM 2015

Five years ago a 14-year-old girl named Fern walked through the doors of SLAM and met her Life-on-Life mentor, Lauren. At the time, Fern was struggling with anger and self-doubt, but after walking with Lauren for 5 years, Fern is now walking confidently into adulthood with a full-ride scholarship to college, and she has a job opportunity at Lou Malnati’s pizzeria. However, most importantly, last year she made a decision to confess Jesus as Lord over her life and is now walking in new life!

Fern is now walking confidently into adulthood with a full-ride scholarship to college…

Fern is grateful for Lauren walking with her the entire way through her struggles and successes. Fern shares, “Lauren is like a big sister to me. Well actually, she’s blood now!” Lauren remembers, “When I first met Fern she had a lot of doubt. There were a lot of questions, and she still has questions, and we grow together, but last year when she made a proclamation of her faith and trusting Jesus, since then it just pours out of her.”

Fern interviewing with Marianos as Lauren watches

And when it comes to making decisions for her future, Fern has matured over the years, showing more confidence and actively pursuing opportunities.

When GRIP’s Future Steps program offered a job training opportunity, she immediately took action and has now completed all 4 training workshops, which included mock interviews, and sessions such as Keys to Being a Successful Employee, Work Ethic and Attitude in a Restaurant, Customer Service & Teamwork in a Restaurant, and Professionalism and Interview Skills. Now Fern is well on her way to competing for a job at Lou Malnati’s pizzeria through Future Steps and learning how to maintain a consistent job.

“I appreciate Tobi and the Future Steps program,” Fern says, “because they encourage me in my strengths, but they also tell me where I need help. Before the job training I used to fidget and stutter a lot in job interviews, but when I went to Future Steps with Tobi, I was like ‘Oh, I can do this’ and I just feel a lot more confident.”

“I always tell Fern that there’s something really special about her and that she’s gonna do something really amazing for the Kingdom!”

Lauren and Fern – SLAM 2019

Even after all the challenges and growth Fern has experienced over the last 5 years, she knows this is just the beginning. Lauren shares, “I always tell Fern that there’s something really special about her and that she’s gonna do something really amazing for the Kingdom!”

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