Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “transform” as (a) “to change in composition or structure; (b) “to change the outward form or appearance of”; and (c) “to change in character or condition.” At the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC), we “Invest in People, Nurture Their Success and Transform Lives Every Day!”

This became very clear recently when I met a woman by the name of Lucille, who told me that her name meant “light.” We began the conversation with her relating to me that she had a history of depression that had plagued her and affected her family for a number of years. She sought help from an organization that she expected to help her with this debilitating condition, but she was disappointed with the results; she was still experiencing severe depression. I asked her how she came to find our counseling services. Lucille said that she was in an office and saw our flyer on the table. She picked it up, called the number and made an appointment. She then began to sing the praises of our staff, and one person in particular, for changing her life! Lucille said that they not only talked to her, they “put their arms around me and loved on me!”

As she continued to talk, I was reminded of how our committed employees transform lives on a daily basis – from individuals struggling with paying for basic necessities or managing life challenges to children and families who are striving for a better life through education and personal development.

At the end of the conversation, I thanked Lucille for sharing her story with me. I also thanked the employee that she identified as being instrumental in her transformation.

Lucille’s story is a wonderful reminder that we, at the Council for Economic Opportunity, have an opportunity and unique privilege to affect positive change in someone’s life, and we do so every single day!