Roanoke mother creates new life with support from Total Action for Progress, shares advice

After her job search and training during the pandemic, she wants to offer help and advice to others

Total Action for Progress, or TAP, has announced a new initiative to help families get out of and stay out of poverty. (WSLS via Google Maps)

ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke mother decided to pursue a new career during the pandemic, and Total Action for Progress in Roanoke was there to help.

On Tuesday, TAP sent out a press release that discussed a Roanoke mother’s success story with the support of TAP’s programs.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Ann Ellis was unemployed and unprepared to enter the workforce, the release said, and on top of that, she had a daughter to take care of.

Ellis knew that she needed to pursue a career to keep her family afloat, and she initially turned to TAP for job training, TAP said.

The release said that TAP was also able to help Ellis and her daughter with other challenges by referring them to other TAP programs that provided critical support while Ellis worked through TAP’s Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) training.

Ellis received housing support with help from HELP coordinator, Hannah, TAP said, and Ellis said that Hannah went above and beyond to provide the resources she needed to get settled in her new apartment.

“It was a tremendous help, and the help has not ceased,” Ellis said.

Being a mother, Ellis knew that it would be difficult trying to balance life and work in addition to caring for her daughter.

“I had to get this job so that we could keep our heads above water,” Ellis told TAP.

TAP said that when Ellis started to feel overwhelmed, she turned to TAP SwiftStart mentor, Jennifer, who encouraged Ellis to think of solutions rather than resorting to excuses.

“All I had to do is put one foot in front of the other, and that’s exactly what I did,” Ellis said.

According to TAP, after finishing the job training, Ellis secured a position at Carilion Clinic and she is now working in a competitive position at Carilion General Surgery.

Now that Ellis has secured a job, she could decide to be done with TAP, but instead, she has decided to go above and beyond just like the staff at TAP did for her.

“I want to transition from being the person seeking and needing help to the person who can actually help. Instead of being the receiver, I’ll be the giver,” Ellis said.

Tap said that Ellis’ advice to others is to just keep moving forward.

“There are resources set in place to help you, and all you’ve got to do is go after them,” Ellis said.

About the Author:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.