Ready to Work program gives student hope and a fresh start

Published 4:24 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

News Release


Sherri Green knows what it means to overcome adversity. In her early 30’s, the Barbourville native found herself single, unemployed, battling addiction, and pregnant with her first child.

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“It was a wake-up call,” said Sherri. “I knew I had to change my life for my baby girl, so I began my journey to recovery.”

Years spent in active addiction, however, had left Sherri with a gap in her work history and little confidence that she could land a steady job. A friend suggested college, so she visited the SKCTC Knox Campus and enrolled in classes. There she learned that she qualified for the Ready to Work program, which not only offered a work-study position, but also provided resources for transportation, car repair, childcare, school supplies, and other educational expenses.

According to Sherri, the Ready to Work program gave her “the confidence and the skill set to secure and succeed in an office environment. It helped me obtain a phlebotomy certificate which opened the door to work for a company that relied upon drug screens to assist their clients.”

The company owner was impressed with Sherri’s work ethic and positive spirit, so he promoted her to a clerical role in the counseling center.

“I am thankful for the Ready to Work program and all the wonderful people who supported me,” said Sherri. “The program has helped me start a new career and build a strong foundation to pursue my dreams.”

Sherri also wants to give back to her community as well as set a strong example for her two-year-old daughter, Kambree.

“Today, I get to help others who are beginning their recovery journey,” she said. “Most of all I get to be a role model for Kambree and lead by example—working hard to make my dreams come true. I want the best for her, and I am making sure her future is filled with the best.”

The Ready to Work Program serves Southeast students and parents with financial need in Bell, Harlan, Knox, and Letcher counties. It offers work opportunities both on and off campus through a work-study program allowing participants to gain work experience while earning extra income that will not reduce their K-TAP checks. The placement of work-study students in their fields of study with both private and non-profit employers helps prepare them for the workplace and often leads to full-time employment. 

For more information about the Ready to Work Program at Southeast, contact:

  • Andrea Massey — Cumberland Campus, (606) 589-3064 or (606) 589-3116,
  • Dianna Perry — Harlan Campus, (606) 589-3195 or
  • Jeannie Allen — Middlesboro Campus, (606) 248-0946,