Jamie, Centralia, WA

I met with Jamie in her home in Centralia, WA. We spent the evening talking about raising her kids and finding work. Here is a bit of her story. 

     “I had four kids and I went back to school and earned three college degrees. Working my way through. Sophia, my youngest, was six months old when I started. She was 6 years old when I graduated with my masters. They were amazing side kicks. I think that is the most interesting part in my life."

Jamie in her living room with her two dogs in Centralia, WA

     "I was absolutely broke… but that wasn't actually what propelled me. I had gotten a job in a doctor's office. I was so excited because I was making $7.50/hr. Minimum wage was $5.15/hr at that point. So I really felt like I had arrived. I was working 40hrs/week. I probably worked there four months or so. I never quite fit in. One of the doctors' wives didn't like me. I was always friendly, and the patients liked me.
     They ultimately let me go. On my unemployment papers they said I was ‘overly friendly and helpful and it interfered with me getting my job done.’ I saved it because I couldn't believe you could fire someone for something like that.
     But I was so worried and so honest that I always put that I was fired when I applied for jobs. So I carried that paper with me around for years. I’m sure it is still in a box somewhere. I wanted to be able to prove that I hadn't done anything that egregious. When I was boohooing about it... my stepdad sat me down and he said, ‘Kid, I only see you having a couple of choices… you are either going to do something like sell used cars, or you are going to become something like a social worker. But if you sit around and cry about it, it probably isn't going to help.’”    - Jamie M.