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Te-Erika Patterson Headshot

Dear President Obama- Please Help Americans Rebuild Their Lives

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Dear President Obama,

Greetings to you, our First Lady Michelle and ofcourse your two beautiful daughters. Thank you for daring to take on the position of the presidency during such a tumultuous time in our country's history. I believe in you and so many others do too, thank you.

If I can have your attention for just 3 minutes, I do hope to return the gift of inspiration that you gave to me and this country back in 2007.

In April of 2011 I began an amazing empowerment outreach to teach women to overcome their biggest fear- failure. This fear holds women back from going after their dreams and leaving abusive situations because they are scared that if they lose everything, they wont be able to recover. I was afraid too. I wasn't in the best shape financially, had lost both my jobs and dropped out of grad school due to stress. I was afraid I'd end up homeless.

So what did I do? Instead of fighting tooth and nail to maintain what I had, I decided to face my fear head on. I gave away everything that I owned and became homeless on purpose to overcome my own fear of failure and to understand that if I can get through this issue, I would never have to fear it again.

This is what I called The Rebuild Your Life Project.

During the 4 months I was homeless in Hollywood, Florida I:

1) Researched and reported on the skills women need to survive mentally and physically
2) Raised money for a rental assistance grant
3) Interviewed countless homeless people about their mentalities and what brought them to that point in life
4) Organized a job fair for homeless women and women in distress. Sadly, this job fair- was a failure

Not only could I not find homeless women who wanted to work, I couldn't find the 30 businesses I needed to fill my quota. Although I had pledged to remain homeless until 30 businesses signed up for my job fair, I had to give up on that portion of my project and move on to securing a job for myself and moving myself up from homelessness.

I did that. I got a job as a waitress at Denny's Restaurant and was able to offer a $650 rental assistance grant to a woman through my own tips and wages. I saved enough to leave the homeless shelter and move into a house that I now share with roommates.

In order to make up for what I couldn't do during the project, I developed a jobs initiative that asks big businesses to give back to the communities that have made them successful by offering a mass hiring day event which is ONE DAY that they will open up their doors to interview people who need work and select from these people viable candidates and offer them employment.

Denny's Restaurants was the first to say YES and on December 20, 2011, we held our first hiring day event which attracted more than 100 unemployed residents of Miami-Dade and Broward counties. These residents were interviewed on the spot by representatives from 14 corporate owned restaurants.

I would like to expand this initiative to other businesses and I would love your support. Dear Mr. President, Would you please let me know what I can do to earn your support for The Rebuild Your Life Project's Jobs Initiative- United 9 To 5.

I can't wait to hear back from you.

All My Best Wishes,

Te-Erika
www.te-erika.blogspot.com