“This process is not microwavable. If you come to StepUp Wilmington looking for an instant meal, it’s going to be bland and basic. But, if you’re willing to commit to the process of a home-cooked meal like grandma used to make on Sundays back in the day, you’ll reap the benefits. When you finally get to sit down for the meal, you’ll taste every bit of seasoning and effort put into it. That’s what you’re going to find when you’re patient and commit to StepUp. You’ll realize why it was well worth the wait.”
These words are something that Tameka Nixon, StepUp Wilmington’s new Step2 Case Manager, has used to keep her going not only during her time as a participant with StepUp Wilmington but throughout every obstacle she has endured.
Tameka began her journey with StepUp Wilmington in February 2018 when she joined Step2, the organization’s 9-month life skills initiative.
“I needed a change. I was still in poverty even while working multiple jobs. I’m educated – I have a bachelor’s degree – so I knew there had to be something better,” Tameka shared on her decision to join the evening workshop. “It has impacted my life tremendously because now I can go back into my community and show others that success is possible. I can use what I learned to go back and start right from the beginning with them.”
Aside from her passion for supporting the elimination of poverty in the Cape Fear region, Tameka was also intrigued by StepUp Wilmington’s mission to place 1,000 jobs by 2022, inspiring her to play a part in achieving that goal.
“I remember reading about the job goal in the newspaper and thinking that it was so amazing that I am going to be a part of that. We’re going to turn Wilmington around – the views, the generational curses, the racism,” she said. “We’re going to help the community keep their heads up and not look down anymore.”
Tameka’s first month as a StepUp Wilmington employee has been “overwhelming but so exciting”.
“I’m so eager to help and be someone’s guide on the sidelines. I can’t wait to see the smiles when they hit their goals and break down whatever’s holding them back.”