StepUp Wilmington works to break barriers of employment, one of them being age. Magnolia defeated society’s odds by getting a job she loves at the age of 91 years old.
When Magnolia met Bennett at the New Hanover County Disaster Recovery Center, she was pretty upfront: “I’m too old to get back to work. I’m soon to be 91 years old!”
But when Bennett followed up a week later, Magnolia decided to give us a chance, becoming StepUp Wilmington’s oldest participant to date.
You see, she had her own childcare business for 27 years, and when she sold it, she stayed on for 20 years as an administrative assistant. “The business closed 3 years ago,” Magnolia says. “I was too embarrassed to go looking for a job, but I didn’t want to just stay at home.”
Since she’d always been self-employed, Magnolia didn’t know how to create a resume or how to prepare for an interview. She learned all of these skills at Jobs Week. In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the elevator at the Harrelson Center was out, but her dedication brought her up and down four flights of stairs every day.
Now, Magnolia works for the YWCA, assisting teachers with students in need: “Children just want to be heard and loved. It’s so rewarding to be able to provide that.” In addition to her job, she also volunteers at nursing homes and the food bank.
Magnolia turned 91 in January. When asked how long she’d like to continue at her job, she said, “As long as God gives me my mind and my body, I want to be working.”