The Transformation Pathway in Action
“God leads you to places in your life and makes things happen to get you to where you need to be”
After working 29 years in the corporate clothing manufacturing industry, Donna Kennedy found herself at an awkward crossroads. Although she had her MBA and boatloads of experience, the tumultuous employment industry was no one’s friend at the time. Following a shift in the market, Donna was forced to change companies. Her new company hired several people, but many of them were laid off shortly after, including Donna.
“Sometimes God puts obstacles in our way to say, ‘you weren’t doing the right thing in the first place’. “
After spending more than a year and a half interviewing and looking for employment, Donna began to doubt herself. Many interviewers told her she was overqualified, but she understood her age was also a factor. Although all she knew was corporate America, she wanted to do something more meaningful with her life, and the unfortunate turn of events presented her with perfect opportunity. In 2014, she turned to City of Refuge.
“When it happened, I really questioned it. But when I got here, I knew it was God’s plan.“
As a resident at Eden Village, Donna enrolled and completed the training program at the 180° Culinary Arts Academy. After completing the curriculum, Donna began volunteering, which turned into a part-time position in the kitchen. Eventually, the part-time opportunity morphed into a full time opportunity.
“I used to struggle to get up and go to work at 8 am, but now I get up to serve breakfast with a smile at 4:30. Every day, you are given the opportunity to minister and help someone. I get it God! You were trying to tell me something, but I wasn’t listening. I hear it now.”
Even though Donna has graduated from the program, like so many others have done before her, she decided to stay in the community because she wants to be a part of the change. Donna’s natural tenacity for life, leadership qualities, and previous professional experiences has allowed her to take on additional roles in the kitchen and anything else to make sure the souls at City of Refuge are fed nutritiously and spiritually.
“The people are phenomenal. I cannot tell you about the inspiration I have been given by Chef Robert Owens, Pastor Jeff, Pastor Bruce, and the residents. Every day I grow as a person by watching them.”