Meet Benewende

Benewende Zombre was determined to make a good living to support herself and her three children. She turned to Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley (GESMV) for help. She started by entering GESMV’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classroom with a wholeheartedness to apply herself and a dedication to increase her knowledge of conversational and written English language as it relates to employment. Benewende always displayed a pleasant attitude toward GESMV staff as well as her cohorts. She willingly assisted Monae Dawson, GESMV Ohio Works First Retention/Placement Specialist, with translation from various spoken languages to mitigate the communication gap between multiple clients. Benewende reported to ESOL class as required giving notice when she would be absent to complete other tasks and report to interviews. She stayed positive through a challenging domestic situation and eventual divorce proceedings.

Benewende attended a week-long class at the Dayton Sewing Collaboration to earn a Certificate of Completion to work as an industrial sewist. She was committed to find employment that allowed time for her children’s schedule. She was offered employment from various employers only to feel the need to decline the offers due to her desire to be able to care for her family. Benewende also earned her Certified Nursing Assistant certification to diversify her skill set to afford her additional employment opportunities.

Benewende Zombre is making positive changes in her life. She has landed a job in the home health care field which aligns with her training certification. Her position allows her a flexible schedule so she can care for her children and meet their needs. Her wages are entry level however, she is qualified to increase her wages in time as her children grow and become somewhat self-sufficient until she returns home from work. She is grateful to have a job that works for her and her family. Benewende applied and was approved to rent a three-bedroom unit which enabled her to move her family into affordable housing. Since she is now working and will be awarded child support payments to assist in the care of her children, she is feeling more certain of her situation.

The staff members of GESMV’s Program Services OWF/WEP department are very proud to have made an impact in Benewende’s life just as she has made in theirs. They look forward to the continued relationship and obtaining employment retention with this client in the future as well as maintaining contact to assist with various case management tasks to mitigate any barriers she encounters.

Monica Smoot, GESMV Program Services Case Manager, says, “Hats off to Benewende Zombre . . . what a class act.”




About English for Speakers of Other Languages

Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley’s ESOL services are available to individuals referred to the agency’s Work Experience Program through Montgomery County Jobs and Family Services. ESOL offers support and instruction as individuals learn functional English specifically geared toward preparedness for employment. If you would like to learn more about ESOL, please call 937.528.6409.

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