Nashville faith-based program helps mother of 8 reach career goal

A free faith-based program in Nashville is helping a mother of 8 reach her career goals and can help many others as well.
Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 10:31 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2022 at 11:01 AM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Mother of eight Joy Yates is on the verge of starting her dream career as a human resources director.

“She’s in there right now prepping for a big interview with the state of Tennessee,” said Carole Peterson, the Executive Director of the free career training program, UpRise Nashville. “This would be her first step on the rung for her.”

Yates’ dream opportunity was followed by a few years of real-life nightmares. She and her husband, a restaurant hood cleaner, moved from the Northeast to Nashville for better opportunities in the restaurant business just before the pandemic hit.

Just after arriving, Yates’ husband had to sell his tools to feed the family, and it was followed by housing and transportation challenges.

Despite her struggles, Joy has lived up to her name.

“Last week, Joy was on her way to UpRise after dropping her kids off at school and her brakes, literally, fell out of her car onto the ground,” Peterson explained. “She pulled over to the side, called her husband, who was able to come to pick her up and get her here so that she could finish her certificate process in Microsoft Word and Excel.”

Peterson said that Yates has kicked down every obstacle that has come her way.

“Every single day she has shown up at UpRise ready to work,” said Peterson.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Peterson said Yates’ children were named students of the month at their elementary school in November.

According to Peterson, the five-year-old, faith-based program “pressure-tests” people’s ability to show up on time, do things asked of them and prove they’re ready to take on a career path, not just a job.

“At every turn, Joy showed she was up for the task,” said Peterson.

An UpRise career coach was there to help Yates prepare for her virtual interview.

“What motivates you to do your best?” the coach asked Yates.

“My kids, my family, and knowing I’ll be proud of myself,” answered Yates. “I would like to be someone, someone they can look up to.”

When asked about her interview on Monday afternoon, Yates thinks she did great.

“I’m so excited!” Yates said.

UpRise is currently helping its 13th class of leaders as they complete certifications in the IT and medical fields.

The program is several months long and provides free opportunities that will potentially help pull them out of poverty and change the trajectory of their lives.

Hopefully, for the Yates family, that will be just in time for Christmas.

For more information about UpRise, click here.