Triumph after Tragedy – Shenikqia’s Story of Hope

I’m Shenikqia. I’m 23 and a stay-at-home mother to my amazing daughter. Things were going good for my family up until my fiancé suddenly passed away. We lived mostly off his income, and when he passed, we struggled to make adjustments. I started receiving benefits from Illinois Department of Human Services and they told me to try the Springfield Urban League Empowerment program. I joined the program in the summer of 2017.

At first the class intimidated me, but once I got used to it I realized how many opportunities it gave me. The program was such a support to me while I figured out life after my fiancé died. I finished the workforce camp and got a job with Cass Industries, and then a better position at Hope School, while I was studying to be a CNA.

I finally know my purpose in life. Now that I have my CNA, I’m working towards my LPN. My daughter and I have our own apartment and I was able to buy my own car. Things are looking up now for my daughter and me, and its thanks to the Springfield Urban League.


You can provide more positive experiences like Shenikqia’s by investing in our community through United Way. Your gift, no matter how big or small, makes a tremendous difference in the lives of those who live right here in Central Illinois.

100% of your gift supports program services.

100% of your gift stays local.



Empowerment Program

Empowering individuals to find success through mentorship and employment support

64 Individuals Served
100% Created Personalized Action Plans
75% secured unsubsidized employment



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