MWA Success Stories: Caterina Pittman

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December 15, 2022

MWA Success Stories

Caterina Pittman: Step by Step

In early 2021, Caterina Pittman - single mother and full-time college student - in Mount Vernon, found herself at a crossroads. Her ex-husband had been recently incarcerated, and she was raising four children by herself, all while pursuing a degree in Health Services Management from Independence University. In January of 2021, she applied for Temporary Assistance, and was soon referred to the Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) Program

As a third-year college student, in an accelerated program, Caterina checked in with her MWA case manager often. She provided attendance logs every two weeks. She also participated in three Work Experience Participation (WEPs) programs, in which she volunteered at each site, in three-week increments. As Caterina’s goal was to work in the Healthcare Industry and assist immigrants, finding WEP programs that related to healthcare was important.

Soon thereafter, Caterina began her first job with the Autumn Court Assisted Living Facility as a Certified Nursing Assistant. At her Case Manager’s suggestion, Caterina looked into a new, “work at home” program through TTEC, a customer experience technology company, with a branch in Springfield, Missouri. 

Caterina Pittman

In December of 2021, Caterina began her job with TTEC as a Healthcare Representative for USAA Insurance members. In this capacity, she assists USAA members with any claims issues or questions. Not only did her income increase by $4.50 an hour, but she also has the opportunity for performance bonuses. According to Caterina, this job is more closely aligned with her degree, and she now has flexibility in her scheduling, which allows her to put her children first. 

When asked about MWA, Caterina said, “I had no idea this program existed. My case manager has been great to work with! I am very grateful to everyone at MWA. I think my family and I will be okay now.”

A huge congratulations to Caterina and her MWA team!

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This publication/program is supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award by ACF/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACF/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

The Missouri Work Assistance Program is Missouri’s employment and training program for Temporary Assistance recipients. The MWA program is funded through the Administration for Children and Families, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant.

Additional Resources

  • The Mo Services Navigator helps you easily search statewide for programs and services you may need.
  • The Missouri Resource Guide lists resources available in Missouri to help you and your family move towards a healthier, more stable future.
  • The DSS Events Calendar lists job fairs, hiring events, and other scheduled opportunities that may be of interest to you.

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