Tenacity and Triumph

Kelli is the type of person everyone is happy to see. She has a grace and ease about her and she works hard to have a positive outlook on life. Just a few short years ago, this was not the case, as she arrived at Saint John’s having endured 30 years of addiction and abuse. In the fall of 2018, Kelli graduated from Saint John’s Employment Training Program after an 11-month stay and is now living on her own with her youngest daughter, Kayli.

An employee at Vitalant (formerly BloodSource) since October of 2018, Kelli loves her job, and has quickly become a shining star. She schedules blood donations in California and Nevada, and this past year, she earned Vitalant’s 1st Annual President’s Award for her call center by scheduling the most blood donation appointments and having her contacts keep their appointment more than 70% of the time! Her job fits her personality perfectly, and Kelli shares that she has developed her own color-coded system to track her calls and her success rate. “I just try to beat myself every day–customer service is my strong suit.” Kelli’s granddaughter, Rhyli Grace, needed a transfusion when she was born and Kelli thinks of her often when she needs inspiration. “What I’m doing can help save a life!”

In February, Vitalant flew Kelli, as well as the other regional winners, to Arizona for the award ceremony and two days of relaxation. She received $1000 for her accomplishment and is looking forward to new opportunities within the company. “I want to grow in the company. I love the leadership at Vitalant and how supportive they are of their employees. I want to be the liaison who works with outside companies, helping them set up mobile blood drives.”

Kelli is honest about the challenges she has faced since leaving Saint John’s. She was in a brief relationship that she knew was not healthy for her, but she was strong enough to end it on friendly terms. She acknowledges that she stretched her finances a bit thin by purchasing the new car she really wanted, and is back to baking and catering a bit on the side to help make the payments. Her advice to the women currently at Saint John’s, “This program works! You have to make up your mind to make the changes you need. Set goals, work hard for those goals, reach your goals and start over again.”

Kelli credits her faith in God for much of her success. “All this is through His grace. Slowly but surely I am getting the pieces of myself back. This healing process is a life-long process.”

Read more about Kelli’s story.

By Mary Hastings, Creative Services and Communications Specialist, Saint John’s Program for Real Change

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