At the age of 22, Candice Fedrick is no stranger to adversity. The third of eight children, Fedrick began preparing meals and looking after her five younger siblings at a young age, while her single mother worked.
Fedrick’s mother did the best she could to provide for her children, but they still struggled. Fedrick and her family were chronically homeless and often times slept in the car. When they were not homeless, a stable environment was still elusive. Moving every six months or so, they stayed in dozens of apartments and with any extended family member they had. Child Protective Services were called to their home and school several times throughout Fedrick’s childhood and the children were often placed in foster care until their mother could regain custody.
At age 18, Fedrick became pregnant and moved in with her boyfriend at the time. In her eighth month of pregnancy, Fedrick’s boyfriend became very abusive and controlling. She eventually moved out and was temporarily forced to live in her car until she decided to reunite with her mother and siblings. Despite many challenges, now compounded by the difficulties of being a single mother, Fedrick was still able to finish high school and receive her diploma.
After high school, she wanted to go to college, but her family did not have the means. So, she decided to do what most people in her situation do and began to look for a job.
The impact of unemployment was significant. She was struggling financially to care for her family, which created a stressful home environment. Often times, Fredrick did not have money for gas and often needed auto repairs. In 2012, when her mother relocated to Texas, leaving Fredrick to care for her daughter and siblings full time, her financial burden swelled. She would often times go without food so that her sisters and daughter could eat.
Fedrick’s sister informed her that Goodwill was hosting a retail recruitment session at the Destiny Christian Center. There she met Goodwill Program Coordinator, Alaina Bigger. Bigger informed Fedrick about the WIA Youth Program in Victorville and encouraged her to sign up.
Fedrick enrolled in the WIA program on August 2, 2012 and will officially graduate from the program on June 30, 2013. In addition to completing the WIA work readiness workshops and attending several leadership activities, Fedrick has completed the Certified Nursing Assistant and Home Health Aide training programs.
She is currently working part time as a Certified Nursing Assistant with Knolls West/Desert Knolls Convalescent Hospital and volunteers with the WIA Youth Program. Fedrick remains focused on providing for her daughter and has set a goal to become a Registered Nurse. She also plans to reunite with her siblings, who have recently relocated to Texas to be with their mother. Fedrick is working towards gaining full time employment so she will no longer need to rely on state aid.
She says, “Goodwill helped me get a start. I know I will always have Alaina’s support and I know that I’m now equipped with the skills I need to find and keep a job.”
Candice Fedrick is a true success story who continues on her path to self-reliance and financial and familial stability. She inspires everyone at Goodwill Southern California to continue to fulfill our mission to transform lives through the power of work. Congratulations Candice Fedrick, our 2013 Graduate of the Year.