Imagine that you are a Beit T’Shuvah resident and, like most of your fellow residents, you aren’t working. More than that, you have a checkered work history and maybe a felony or two. You can go one of two ways: sink into despair, which may or may not lead to relapse, or have a talk with Nancy Grant. Nancy, Director of BTS’s Career Center, is at the ready to help residents and alumni take their next big step in recovery, which for most looks like reentry into school or work (the “Real World”). Residents who have been at Beit T’Shuvah for sixty days or more typically visit the Career Center to talk to Nancy about Work Therapy, finding an outside job, or furthering their education.
“Beit T’Shuvah is unmatched in that it has a designated career center that works with clients to help them find their passion, or at least find a job,” says Nancy, enthusiastically. The Career Center’s offerings and assistance run the gamut. Résumé preparation, applications for school or work, grant and scholarship applications, interview preparation, even new career options tailored to a resident’s recovery program. “To have such broad-based career advice is unique in every way.” Nancy has been known not only to help residents identify their goals, but to suggest appropriate dress and occasionally to drive residents to interviews.
Nancy’s knowledge and experience fit with the residents’ needs perfectly. She joined the ranks at Beit T’Shuvah in 2016 after working with numerous nonprofits as a member of boards of directors and advisory committees. Additionally, she counsels first generation college students. Having a son in recovery also gives her insight and empathy with the issues facing Beit T’Shuvah residents and alumni.
Nancy loves her job for many reasons. One of the most rewarding parts of her job, Nancy says, is helping clients get past the fear of working again. “I love seeing clients with concern about gaps in their resume, or gaps in their lives, and helping them work through it. They come here with a lot of fear and I help them see that everything is workable, not insurmountable.” Besides the great resources available to residents in the Career Center, it also serves as a morale boost for residents, a way to remind them that they can really get back out into the working world and that Nancy and Beit T’Shuvah are there with them every step of the way.
“I get far more from this position than I give,” Nancy says with pleasure. Asked about how she found herself in the counseling and guidance world, Nancy laughs. “The truth is that I have always been a good matchmaker, and that is a big part of what I do here, only I do it with jobs and schooling. It is incredibly satisfying when when it works.” At Beit T’Shuvah, it works time and time again. We are lucky to have Nancy – and her matchmaking skills – working for our residents and alumni, helping to transform their lives.