Olufemi joined the Getting Ahead class 5 months after moving to the United States with his family. His

biggest challenge was understanding the social and financial structures of his new community. The class

opened his eyes to the ‘hidden rules’ of social class and the financial literacy classes were absolutely

pivotal in helping him make informed financial decisions for his family. Today, Femi has settled into life in

the US and has joined the staff of Community Action Wayne/Medina as the Getting Ahead Coordinator.

Eugene joined Getting Ahead at the prompting of his Probation Officer. He was fresh out of jail, had no

job and no way of supporting his family. Through the classes and the resources made available to him, he

was able secure a job. The financial literacy classes helped plan his finances and the Bring Your ‘A’ Game

classes helped him with work stability. Today, he is being trained in robotics by his employer.

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At MOCA House I have mad friends in places where I never would have looked. They have excepted me and helped me through so many emotional battles. It’s nice to know you are never alone!

MOCA House is a place where people cultivate hope and compassion. It’s a place where I learned to see a future and start rebuilding my life with the help of my peers. Truly a great place.

MOCA brought out creativity that was within me. There’s a lot of support at MOCA and gave me tools to help to deal with what life throws at us and how to manage life issues.

MOCA House has helped me a lot by giving me the support that I need. I have learned so much about my mental illness. The stuff that I learned has helped me in my recovery. If it wasn’t for MOCA House I would be in a very bad state of mind and not even know why. I wouldn’t have the knowledge of mental illness if it wasn’t for MOCA House. I would refer anybody that has a mental illness or wants to learn about how to take care of someone with a mental illness to come to NAMI/MOCA.

I would like to share what MOCA has done for me. First, I want to share my background. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder two years ago. I kept to myself for one and a half years. I am now finding the support I need from MOCA House. I started out small by attending the Monday night support group. I then gradually started coming on Fridays for lunch. It has provided me a place to share my love for baking by bringing a dessert to share with everyone. The staff and peers all enjoy lunch together along with playing games. The joy I have received from MOCA has given me a purpose to continue in my recovery and to help others in sharing my story.

With help from MOCA House I have learned some new and better coping skills. I am learning how to communicate with others in a healthy way. I get the human contact that I need. I have been very busy getting better and MOCA has helped me immensely.

MOCA House has been and still is an extremely positive experience for me. I attend support groups each week. All of the people at MOCA House truly care about you. I’ve met many new friends and I trust everyone. I have been able to socialize and be interactive with other people. It’s a place where you can be open and not be judged by anyone.

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Graduate of the Year Sarah

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Youth of the Year Madison

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