Angela Hutchinson applied for Vocational Rehabilitation services at the age of 27. She had already been through residential substance abuse treatment, was convicted of drug possession and lost her two children to the custody of the Department of Family Services. She just completed 3 1/2 months of an intensive outpatient program at Southwest Counseling, after an eleven year period of drug abuse. Her addiction had consistently been an impediment to her ability to maintain employment as well as manage her life. Angela also had a co-occurring diagnosis of ADHD and social phobia. She had just recently started treatment of these issues.
Angela had only been employed sporadically at entry level positions prior to coming to Vocational Rehabilitation for assistance. She had dropped out of high school in the tenth grade and later obtained her GED. At the time of the interview, Angela was living with her parents and pregnant with her third child. Her goal was to remain sober, get custody of her children, obtain more education, and become employed in a career which would provide enough income for her to be self sufficient and live independently with her children.
It took a while before a plan for employment was made due to all of the significant happenings in Angela’s life. However, within a year, Angela gave birth to her third child and gained back custody of her other two children. She was still requiring the assistance of her parents and lived in a remodeled shed behind her parent’s trailer. She began school with below college level classes and used a Pell Grant and loans to pay for schooling. In the fall of 2010 she was ready to begin her training to become a diesel and heavy equipment mechanic. Angela continued to attend NA and took 18 credits of school that semester. She also worked part time at Car Quest. Angela continued to attend school fulltime and achieved an overall grade point average of 3.42 and graduated in 2013. Vocational Rehabilitation helped by providing career counseling and guidance, paying for Angela’s books for classes, minor dental care and much needed eyeglasses.
Angela is a bright and vivacious woman and became very motivated once she was no longer abusing drugs and alcohol. She became a member of the college advisory panel and there she made the connection to her current employment. Upon graduating in May of 2013, Angela was assisted by Vocational Rehabilitation with the purchase of the basic tools to begin her career as a diesel and heavy equipment mechanic. Within one month of graduation Angela was hired by the Wyoming Department of Transportation as a mechanic. Angela is the first woman to be hired by WYDOT as a mechanic. Since beginning there, she has received additional training and now has a Class A CDL License. She has been working in this position for four months and loves it. She is currently making approximately $3700. per month. With Vocational Rehabilitation’s assistance and Angela’s hard work and dedication to her children, she has completed training, maintained sobriety, regained custody of her children and lives in a home of her own.