Kim McDermott had been unemployed for six months, steadily interviewing for jobs with no success, when a friend told her about the classes offered at Pivot.
“I heard about this and thought, ‘What’s it going to hurt? I’ll give it a try,’” McDermott said.
What is Pivot?
Pivot, a ministry that uses the Christian Women’s Job Corps classroom model with one-on-one mentors, has served women in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, area since 2018. CWJC is a ministry of of Woman’s Missionary Union.
Carol Polk, Pivot’s executive director, said it opened after two years of research, during which time they found that women with no dependents were often turned away by agencies.
“So that’s what we focused on,” she said. “We just had our fifth graduation.”
So far Pivot has had a graduation rate of 75%, more than double what was predicted, Polk said. The women who come through the program learn life skills and job readiness, take part in regular Bible studies and have a personal Christian mentor.
“It’s an incredible ministry,” she said.
McDermott agrees. She said her experience as a participant at Pivot in 2019 was “amazing.”
‘Helped me get my confidence back’
“I thoroughly enjoyed every session,” she said. “I was beginning to think I was unemployable. Pivot helped me get my confidence back.”
And a few months ago, McDermott became a part of Pivot in a new way. She’s serving in a part-time role as administrative coordinator.
“I’m loving what I do here,” she said.
Her role is supported by a site grant from the CWJC/CMJC Endowment that the WMU Foundation recently awarded to Pivot, a gift Polk said they were “blown away” to receive.
The grant also supports Pivot’s new alumnae association, Pivot Plus, which offers graduates a chance to stay connected and participate in Bible study and further professional development. Two volunteers have taken ownership of that new effort and run with it, Polk said.
She hopes it will help Pivot continue to come alongside women like McDermott over the long haul and offer support and community.
McDermott’s story has highlighted God’s faithfulness, and she has been a great fit for the Pivot team too, Polk said. She said McDermott’s computer skills are strong, and she’s a great researcher and support person with a cheerful demeanor and positive approach.
“She turned her life back around and now has two part-time jobs and is faithful and dedicated and a joy to work with,” Polk said.