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Local News

Thursday, 22 July 2010 7:29 P.M.

Lighthouse of Oakland County helps to turn lives around in a positive way

Photo credit: cdn-aki.vmixcore.com

Alisha Kiovanni stands in front of her new home in Oak Park, Mich. after receiving support from Lighthouse of Oakland County.

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

OAK PARK, Mich. -- Former Pontiac resident Alisha Kiovanni heard about Lighthouse through a friend when she was looking for safe, affordable housing options for her and her children. Getting to know about Lighthouse could not have come at a better time.

"I went through a bad divorce, and had an abusive relationship,” Alisha said. “My house was in my husband's name and was foreclosed, so we stayed at a friend's house."

For years, her sole identity was that of a wife, homemaker, and mother of her five children. Since she hadn’t worked for a number of years, and it was difficult for her to take the necessary steps to protect herself and her kids.

But once Alisha took back her life with a sense of authority and control with the help of Lighthouse PATH, she began that important journey to self-sufficiency.

Moving into PATH’s apartment complex, Alisha learned many of the skills necessary to a single parent. And she began researching and working toward a career in culinary arts, taking classes and eventually graduating from the Art Institute of Michigan with a specialty in pastry art.

“It's about putting your mind to it; you can accept it or be isolated, which is normal.” Alisha states. “I feel like it's just a new beginning for me. It's very powerful for feeling for a woman to be self-sufficient."

PATH, a part of Lighthouse that provides a variety of services and assistance to single mothers, helped Alisha learn how to write track and develop career goals, open her own bank account, and eventually find a home in Oak Park.

Now one of Alisha’s goals is to build a clientele for a pastry business. "I still do independent baking; I'm an entrepreneur at heart. It’s great to create jobs for women like myself, and also give back at Lighthouse (with) volunteer work. I can tell other women who are like me my story," she goes on.

Alisha also feels more comfortable with other parts of her professional life. Alisha shares physical custody of two of her children with her ex-husband and his wife. She has worked to partially repair that relationship with her ex-husband while still serving as a mother to her five children. What she learned from Lighthouse is the method of gaining and maintaining power and control over her life and surroundings.

"I tried to show my children what I'm going to do by empowering myself with education and the tools I've been given,” she continues. "You can relax here. I had to really switch gears (in my life). Without me, there is no them. When I looked at it now, I look at life so much differently."

 

For more information about Lighthouse of Oakland County, visit www.lighthouseoakland.org.

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

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