A Profile of Marvetta Foe Shelton
“I can’t believe this is my life after IMPACT!” --Marvetta Froe-Shelton, Re-entry & Employment Plus program.
When the Dean of Public Administration at Franklin University called my name to receive my Master’s Degree, time stood still. Like a movie, my mind flashed back through a rolodex of images that chronicled the timeline of my life. I saw a single, divorced mother whose alcohol and drug abuse led to incarceration. I saw myself looking for hope. I saw myself enrolled in IMPACT’s Re-Entry Work Readiness and Employment Plus programs. I saw myself leaping out of my Johari window, speaking my truth, and conquering the fears that held me in suspended animation. I saw myself in a cap and gown graduating from IMPACT’s Employment Plus program. Fast forward and then I was back at Franklin University. I was once again in a cap and gown and the deja vu was real. I realized that I was in a different place but having the same experience, accomplishing another one of my dreams.
I really can’t believe this is my life. I pinch myself sometimes and say, “Marvetta Froe – Shelton, this is your life.” I am a mother who fought for custody of my daughter and won. I am an Adjunct Instructor for Ashland University and teach at the Chillicothe, Circleville, and Ohio Reformatory for Women. I am the Operations Manager for Nothing into Something Real Estate (Jessie’s World). Jessie’s World is a temporary housing facility for women who have experienced incarceration or some type of trauma that has led to behavioral disorders.
Breaking Barriers is the name of my new business. I provide life skills development through coaching, resiliency training, leadership and personal development and none of this would be possible if I had not been given hope.
If you can imagine being encapsulated in dynamism, that purges the innermost feelings of guilt and shame. I was engaged in a program that confronts poverty of the human spirit and develops the skills that makes one competent and competitive. I was supported by a staff that would not allow me to tap out on life but challenged me to tap into my true potential. This was my experience with Empowerment Services at IMPACT Community Action.
I felt empowered and was inspired to empower others. This is what I am doing with my life after IMPACT. I don’t feel like I’m working. I feel like I am serving in my passion and walking in my purpose. To be able to live the life that God intended is the greatest thing that I have been given through Community Action. The ripple effect is real and as I share my testimony with the many incarcerated women that I speak with, I share that hope starts at IMPACT.
*This story is a part of our "Life After IMPACT" Publication