Two years ago Guy and his wife were working, raising their family, and driving two cars. He was 20 years into a career in private policing and working on a master’s degree when he lost his job and couldn’t find another. “My wife became the sole breadwinner. Bills were piling up and my car was repossessed,” he says. “I couldn’t afford to pay tuition to continue my master’s degree. The situation was depressing and distressing.”
A year into his unemployment, he heard about Per Scholas, a nonprofit organization that offers tuition-free technology training to prepare adults for IT careers. He was accepted into and completed the rigorous program. Ready to find an IT job, he realized his options were limited without a car. Then he was introduced to ChangingGears. “I felt I needed a car that day, but with SmartMoney Counseling Services I learned I first needed a budget and a steady paycheck,” he says.
Guy took his first IT job at a school. He completed the ownership classes and did his sweat equity in the ChangingGears garage and in the spring of 2018 he and his wife drove home a Chrysler Town & Country minivan. The impact of the van became even more apparent a few months later when the school where he worked closed. As he began a new job search, “I realized with my new van I didn’t have to take a job based on transportation convenience. I can find a position doing something I love in an environment where I can grow.” He has since found another IT job.
“ChangingGears is touching lives in a profound way,” Guy says as he sums up his recent challenges. “Sometimes people get blessed and walk away, but this is not something I take lightly. This van has been an opportunity and a blessing.”