Benedictine Sisters of Erie Home Home

Meet SBEC Program Participants

Darlene Reid

Darlene Reid, SBEC participant

Darlene Reid’s story in the past few years is one of great personal loss. She resigned from her work in health care to look after her mother who eventually passed away. Shortly after that, her stepmother died as well. Both women were an important and loving presence in her life and in the lives of her two children. Starting over was not easy, yet Darlene found both the support and the tools she needed at SBEC in Meadville, one of five locations in Northwestern PA where SBEC offers job search programs.

Despite such setbacks, Darlene took on-line classes for a Medical Assistant qualification while caring for her mother. When she arrived at SBEC, Darlene was eager to start her job search and get her life back on track. “I wanted to prove to my children and my family that I could do this.” In addition to her own grief, Darlene provided support to her grieving children. She saw to it that they received the necessary counseling and therapy. Today they are doing much better and seem quite happy in their new school.

Darlene and her children are now living on their own. She is employed by Guardian Healthcare Providers as a home healthcare assistant - a job she thoroughly enjoys. She continues her formal studies and is now working toward a BA in Healthcare Management. One day she hopes to start her own home health care agency.

“Darlene has been a joy to work with. She followed all the program requirements with great commitment.” observes Jody Wielobob, program coordinator in Meadville, PA. “SBEC offers many services to job-seekers but it is what the student makes of it. Darlene took full advantage of the opportunities offered.” Others recognized the diligence of Darlene: she was nominated for the Governor’s Achievement Award and was named Employee of the Month at Care Unlimited.

Darlene, in turn, is also quick to recognize the difference SBEC has made in her life. “SBEC offers a wonderful program. If given this opportunity, I strongly advise others to take it. All the educational and emotional support needed is generously offered. They were always there for me whenever I needed something.” Darlene still makes the time to visit her program coordinator and keep in touch.