Where there’s a will, there’s a way: Socorro’s story

When Socorro first came to Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center (MRNC), she was an unemployed mother of four looking for ways to better support her family. Her goal was to find employment, but she didn’t know what to do or how to start after 14 years as a stay at home mom. With guidance from MRNC coaches, she created a plan: enroll in adult education classes, develop her computer and office skills and receive her General Education Development (GED) diploma.


To achieve her goal, Socorro enrolled in a program at MRNC called Fuel for School. She learned valuable skills, like how to use technology when job hunting and how to handle her personal finances, all while working diligently towards earning her GED. With help from her employment coaches, Socorro identified a Microsoft Office Training program that would help her develop her computer and office skills. One catch: she had to have her GED diploma to enroll. The following month, Socorro graduated with her GED diploma, a major accomplishment in her plan for success.


Socorro successfully graduated from the Microsoft Office class and began her job search, utilizing the skills Fuel for School taught her. She soon obtained employment with the Indianapolis Public School (IPS) system, which allowed her enough flexibility to still get her kids to and from school each day. She told MRNC staff that she was grateful for all the help and support they had given her, and as a way to give back, she began volunteering at the center.


Maria Baca Vilchez, a Community Support Coach at MRNC, helped Socorro achieve her goal of receiving her GED.

As Socorro was just settling into her new routine, she found herself in danger of losing her new job when her car broke down, eliminating her only source of reliable transportation. As coaches began working with her to create transportation back-up plans, MRNC was notified that the Applegate Foundation, through United Way of Central Indiana, wanted to support a family in need. MRNC employees met to discuss possible recipients, and Socorro was chosen! She then met with financial coaches at MRNC to discuss her options and chose to purchase a 2003 Chevy Envoy, enabling her to get herself to work and children to and from school. Thanks to her new, reliable transportation and MRNC, Socorro has achieved her goal of finding stable employment and looks forward to this new chapter in her life.


Stories like Socorro’s would not be possible without support from the community and those who devote themselves to these organizations. Socorro is now on a path to success, thanks to the work of MRNC, the Applegate Foundation and United Way. See more stories of success here.