Need Help?

Need Help?


by Sheena Williams and Yoli Salazar


“Help, I need somebody!” It’s a popular song, but there are days when you truly need help. There are times when you are stuck in a place where you aren’t sure what to do. So, have you ever found yourself thinking, “I wonder if there is someone somewhere who can help me with this?” Well, you’re in luck because we have compiled a list of places that might be your light in a dark place. These are not infinite resources and they are based upon need as well as availability.  ]

The first thing we are going to discuss is CLOTHES. Yes, clothes! What if you have a very important interview set up for next week and you want to look your best, but buying a new outfit is just not in the budget right now. For your selection of clothes for an interview or work, there are two locations in Waco I would like you to know about:


Mission Waco Clothesline Store 

1817 Franklin Avenue

Waco, Texas 76701 Tel: (254) 754-5463

Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10:30am to 5:30pm

Saturday 9:00am – 4:00pm

(Closed Sundays and Mondays)

Clothing can be purchased here at a minimal fee.

Ask for Michelle!


Meyer Center Community Clinic

1226 Washington Avenue

Waco, Texas 76701 Tel: (254) 714-1579

Hours: Between the hours of 8:00am and 10:00am, you can receive a voucher for clothing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This voucher will allow you to get ten (10) items.

Ask for Bobbie!



Our next topic and a very important topic it is. That would be FOOD

Caritas Waco is a non-profit charitable agency chartered by the State of Texas. Its mission is “to provide urgent support to people in need in our community.” Caritas helps anyone who has emergency needs regardless of age, sex or ethnicity. The majority of recipients are residents of McLennan County although there are no geographical limits to receiving services from Caritas. All recipients are interviewed to determine their need.

Emergency/Supplemental Assistance is provided not only in Food, but also in the form of: Utilities, Clothing, Prescription Medication, Household Items as well as Travel Assistance.

Caritas Waco operates two Thrift Stores which are open to the public for low cost items. The two locations are:

WACO: Ladies of Charity Thrift Store

3116-3118 Franklin Avenue

10am – 6pm, Monday – Saturday

(254) 753-0125


BELLMEAD: Caritas Thrift Store

3016 Bellmead Drive

9am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday

10am – 3pm Sunday

(254) 799-0777

In 2011, Caritas Waco served 24,420 families by providing them with 2,098,539 pounds of food. In June 2012, 2,116 families were served with food assistance totaling 137,018 pounds.


To become a Caritas client you need to show three forms of identification to the receptionist.

  1. Social Security Cards for everyone in your household,
  2. Proof of address ( rent or lease agreement / current utility bill), or
  3. Identification Card

Clients can receive food from Caritas once a month, clothing vouchers every four months, and utility payments once every two years. Homeless individuals can receive clothing once a month and food once a week.

You will be given a number to see an interviewer.

The Interview Process:

If you are a new client, the interviewer will explain Caritas’ services. You will be registered within our system and given a Caritas ID card. The interviewer determines what ways we would be able to aid you. Subsequent visits require your Caritas ID card and proof of address (current utility bill or anything mailed to your current address recently).


What about SHELTER? We didn’t quite know if there was a need for shelter, but maybe we can talk about HOUSING. So here goes.


The Obama Administration has implemented a number of programs to assist homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure and otherwise struggling with their monthly mortgage payments. The majority of these programs are administered through the U.S. Treasury Department and HUD. This page provides a summary of these various programs. Please continue reading in order to determine which program can best assist you.

Distressed homeowners are encouraged to contact their lenders and loan servicers directly to inquire about foreclosure prevention options that are available. If you are experiencing difficulty communicating with your mortgage lender or servicer about your need for mortgage relief, click here for information about organizations that can help contact lenders and servicers on your behalf.

Making Home Affordable

The Making Home Affordable © (MHA) Program is a critical part of the Obama Administration’s broad strategy to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, stabilize the country’s housing market, and improve the nation’s economy.

Homeowners can lower their monthly mortgage payments and get into more stable loans at today’s low rates. And for those homeowners for whom homeownership is no longer affordable or desirable, the program can provide a way out which avoids foreclosure. Additionally, in an effort to be responsive to the needs of today’s homeowners, there are also options for unemployed homeowners and homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth. Please read the following program summaries to determine which program options may be best suited for your particular circumstances.

Modify or Refinance Your Loan for Lower Payments

  • Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP): HAMP lowers your monthly mortgage payment to 31 percent of your verified monthly gross (pre-tax) income to make your payments more affordable. The typical HAMP modification results in a 40 percent drop in a monthly mortgage payment. Eighteen percent of HAMP homeowners reduce their payments by $1,000 or more. Click Here for more information.
  • Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA): PRA was designed to help homeowners whose homes are worth significantly less than they owe by encouraging servicers and investors to reduce the amount you owe on your home. Click Here for more information.
  • Second Lien Modification Program (2MP): If your first mortgage was permanently modified under HAMP SM and you have a second mortgage on the same property, you may be eligible for a modification or principal reduction on your second mortgage under 2MP. Likewise, If you have a home equity loan, HELOC, or some other second lien that is making it difficult for you to keep up with your mortgage payments, learn more about this MHA program. Click Here for more information.
  • Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP): If you are current on your mortgage and have been unable to obtain a traditional refinance because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through HARP. HARP is designed to help you refinance into a new affordable, more stable mortgage. Click Here for more information.


“Underwater” Mortgages

In today’s housing market, many homeowners have experienced a decrease in their home’s value. Learn about these MHA programs to address this concern for homeowners.

  • Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP): If you are current on your mortgage and have been unable to obtain a traditional refinance because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through HARP. HARP is designed to help you refinance into a new affordable, more stable mortgage. Click Here for more information.
  • Principal Reduction Alternative: PRA was designed to help homeowners whose homes are worth significantly less than they owe by encouraging servicers and investors to reduce the amount you owe on your home. Click Here for more information.
  • Treasury/FHA Second Lien Program (FHA2LP): If you have a second mortgage and the mortgage servicer of your first mortgage agrees to participate in FHA Short Refinance, you may qualify to have your second mortgage on the same home reduced or eliminated through FHA2LP. If the servicer of your second mortgage agrees to participate, the total amount of your mortgage debt after the refinance cannot exceed 115% of your home’s current value. Click Here for more information.


Assistance for Unemployed Homeowners

  • Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP): If you are having a tough time making your mortgage payments because you are unemployed, you may be eligible for UP. UP provides a temporary reduction or suspension of mortgage payments for at least twelve months while you seek re-employment. Click Here for more information.
  • Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP), Substantially Similar States: If you live in Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, or Pennsylvania, Click Here for more information about EHLP assistance provided in your state.
  • FHA Forbearance for Unemployed Homeowners: Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requirements now require servicers to extend the forbearance period for unemployed homeowners to 12 months. The changes to FHA’s Special Forbearance Program announced in July 2011 require servicers to extend the forbearance period for FHA borrowers who qualify for the program from four months to 12 months and remove upfront hurdles to make it easier for unemployed borrowers to qualify. Click Here for more information.


Managed Exit for Borrowers

  • Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA): If your mortgage payment is unaffordable and you are interested in transitioning to more affordable housing, you may be eligible for a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure through HAFA SM. Click Here for more information.
  • “Redemption”is a period after your home has already been sold at a foreclosure sale when you can still reclaim your home. You will need to pay the outstanding mortgage balance and all costs incurred during the foreclosure process. Click Here for more information.





FHA staff are available to help answer your questions and assist you to better understand your options as an FHA borrower. There are several ways you can contact FHA for more information, including:

  • Call the NSC at (877) 622-8525
  • Call the FHA Outreach Center at 1-800-CALL FHA (800-225-5342)
  • Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.








For those times when you need help with FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE or other related things, such as bills, utilities, etc., here is a little help.


912 East Loop 340

Waco, TX 76705

Phone: 254.799.0229


Bill Payment

Services: When funds are available, they will pay for the last $25 of one of the client’s bills

Stipulations: Bring proof of residence and photo I.D.



Phone: 254.754.8923

Hours: Monday-Thursday and Tuesday: 7pm-8:30pm

Services: Food, clothing, bill assistance with ATMOS gas, TXU, and Waco  water, prescription assistance, transportation assistance for out of town medical appointments

How to Apply: Client must fill out application, return application to Care Center, staff will then call client to make appointment. Walk-ins are taken  Tuesday evenings 7pm-8:30pm after appointments. Help client fill out application and mail in. Applications are only accepted Wednesday through Sunday, application time Monday thru Thursday: 1-5pm

Stipulations: Must have appointment, utilities assistance is for termination  notice only, does not assist with rent


300 S. 15th Street

Waco, TX 76701

Phone: 254.753.4593

Fax: 254.752.4434



Services: Provides emergency/supplemental assistance in the form of food (once a month), clothing (once every 3 months), household items, utility, mediation, rent and mortgage, and travel assistance (eligibility requirements), utilities $55-65, food distribution, and can assist with furniture, assistance with application for Food Stamps and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).

Stipulations: Help varies with income. Know your income and expenses. Food  Stamps, TANF, and SSI recipients automatically qualify. Client should have photo ID and proof of address (unless homeless) and SS #. To receive assistance with a bill, it must be a termination notice or eviction notice.

How to Apply: For assistance with anything other than a bill, client can go to  Caritas with necessary documents Monday-Friday: 8am-3pm; household goods Monday-Wednesday: 8am-12pm. Clients are served on a first come first serve basis and must wait to be seen by an interviewer. For assistance with a bill, call Linda Chavez to set up an appointment for the client.

Food Voucher Store

Phone: 254.753.0125

How to Apply:If possible, call first to set up appointment.

Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm


9191 Woodway Dr.

Waco, TX 76712

Phone: 254.754.3544

Hours: Monday-Friday: 9am-2pm

Services: Utilities and food assistance


512 Franklin

Waco, TX 76701

Phone: 254.756.0954

Services: Financial assistance with utility bills-electric, water, gas and  assistance with rent.

How to Apply: EOAC generally needs to see the clients themselves, you can call  to be sure they currently have funds or when funds will be available.

Hours: Monday-Friday:  8am-5pm

Services: Utility and Rental Assistance Program, can assist with electricity bill

Stipulations: Must be McLennan County

EOAC Neighborhood Services Center

Assistance with utilities (Utility and Rental Assistance Program)

932 N. 9th St.

Phone: 254.756.0954

Has three apartment units for the Self-Sufficiency Program for parents and children. Person in this program stays 30-90 days (jobs in two weeks). The program lasts about 12 months. Helps with transition into a new apartment, pays first month’s rent, tuition for two classes. Also pays for GED, and for certification tests. Emergency services, employment referrals, housing information, emergency financial aid for utility bills, rental assistance.

Hours: Open Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm

Sees clients Monday-Thursday


500 Webster

Waco, TX 76706

Phone: 254.752.3000


Benevolence Ministry


Services: Emergency fuel assistance, transportation assistance (bus/gas  vouchers), food (HEB cards), medication assistance, flexible as to what services can be provided, referrals and case management

How to Apply: Assist client with setting up an appointment

Stipulations: Client needs to have an appointment to receive assistance,  appointments are usually made for afternoons, client also needs a valid Driver’s License and a phone number or other means of being able to contact  the client in case appointments change, they usually require that appointments be set on Mondays for the next appointment day, but sometimes they make  exceptions (just call) School Uniforms make appointments with the Benevolence Coordinator

Agape Meal 

Fellowship Hall on 6th and Clay

Once a month, last Tuesday of the month

Dinner:  6pm-7pm

Bible Study: 7pm-7:30pm


5801 Bishop Dr.

Waco, TX 76710

Phone: 254.772.2910

Fax: 254.772.2914


Utilities/rent: Help with approximately $350 per month for utilities, rent, etc.(generally in $50 amounts) distributed through recommendation by social workers at area agencies or congregations.


1224 Connor St.

Waco, TX 76703 (located on access road on west side of I 35, south of 12th street)

Phone: 254.752.7261

Services: Provides financial assistance one time only, furniture and clothing will only be provided in verifiable crisis situations, food (upon verifiable need), pay up to 85% of utility bill or rent, voucher for half off in thrift store, Christian Crisis Intervention counseling

How to Apply: Call office – secretary will do a background check on previous services provided to the client and set up an appointment for the client if they are able to help.

Stipulations: Client must have verifiable emergency – Red Cross referral, fire report, police report, some sort of documentation of the emergency, client must  have ID and Social Security number and proof of income, clients must be residents of McLennan County.


800 W. Hwy 6

Waco, TX 76712

Phone: 254.772.7815


Community Center

How to Apply: come to center if need service

Hours: Tuesdays: 1pm-5pm

Services: assistance with utility bills, food, clothing, and hygiene products.


602 James Avenue

Waco, TX 76706

Phone: 254.753.6425

Fax: 254.753.1909



How to Apply: Call church office and speak to Valerie, basic application can be filled out over the phone a physical visit is not necessary.

Services: Gas, water, rent, Medication Assistance Program (MAP), Meals-on- Wheels, Seeds of Hope

Stipulations: NOT electricity


301 Jefferson Ave.

Waco, TX

Mailing: 315 Jefferson St.

Waco, TX 76701

Phone:    254.752.8434 (Main)

254.754.1012 (Rectory)



Services: Food, Clothing, Financial Assistance

Also, for Electric Service Payment Assistance, go to

The next topic we have is UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS. This is a very important topic as this involves your money.


Our next topic of discussion is EDUCATION.

The State of Texas administers a program called The Workforce Investment Act of 1998. The purpose of this program is:

>To increase job opportunities, retention on the job and the earnings for eligible participants

>To increase the occupational skill attainment of eligible participants

>To assist eligible participants to overcome barriers to employment and training

The Worker Investment Act of 1998 reformed federal employment, training, adult education and vocational rehabilitation programs by creating an integrated “one-stop” system of workforce investment and education services for adult, dislocated workers and youth.

The basic adult eligibility requirements are:

  1. Citizenship or eligible non-citizen
  2. Age 18 years of age or over
  3. Selective Service Registration
  4. Meet income requirements

Eligibility Requirements for Dislocated Workers are:

  1. Citizenship or eligible non-citizen
  2. Selective Service Registration
  3. Dislocated Worker Status

>Terminated, laid off or received notice of lay-off

>Self-Employed and unemployed due to general economic conditions or natural disaster

>Displaced Homemaker

Remember that before you attempt to contact a WIA counselor, be sure that you have registered in WorkInTexas at

WIA counselors work by appointments ONLY. Ask for a WIA Packet at the front desk of the Workforce Center at 1416 South New Road in Waco, Texas. Once you have completed that packet, give it to the Receptionist at the front desk and she will submit to the WIA Unit. A counselor will then review your packet and call you to schedule an intake appointment. If you have any questions, please call 254/296-5210 and ask for the WIA Unit.

Locally, there are people who you can speak with regarding your benefits right at your workforce center. The Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas Workforce Center at 1416 South New Road houses an Unemployment Insurance Unit. These individuals are very knowledgeable and helpful with regard to many of your unemployment questions or concerns. They are very friendly and don’t hesitate to help when the need arises. Just call the local Workforce Center Office at 254-296-5310 and ask for the UI Unit.

We have a couple more things to share with you. One of these is MISSION WACO. This organization has invaluable resources and services available to the community. Please check it out and take advantage of the wonderful opportunities they provide. Here are just a few.

Mission Waco Health Clinic

Mission Waco also provides services for acute healthcare needs. Dental screenings and chiropractic services are also provided twice per month. All patients must meet the following requirements: Household income is less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and are currently not carrying any form of Health Insurance; income verification will be required. Patients are served on a first come, first served basis.

Hours are: Tuesdays from 5:00-7:00pm; Thursdays from 5:00-7:00pm

It is located at 1226 Washington Avenue  Tel: 254/296-9866, X206

Email: Leigh Saxon and Georgeen Scanes, co-coordinators


Christmas Toy Store

On select days in early December, Mission Waco affords low-income families the opportunity to purchase new Christmas toys and gift items for their children, at an 80% discount off the retail price! (Parent is paying only 20% of the cost). Last year’s Toy Store served over 550 families who shopped for more than 1700 children! 320 Volunteers donated 1414 hours to prepare and operate the store!

In addition to this service, Mission Waco also offers free onsite gift wrapping to the shoppers. For more information, call Kathy Wise or Joyce Brammer or call 254/753-4900.

SER Waco

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) provides training opportunities for people 55 or older who are unemployed and need to refresh or learn new skills to return to work. If you live in McLennan, Hill, or Ellis county and are low-income, you may qualify for this program.  Follow the link Applicant Forms to find an application and a Participant handbook. If you are interested, then complete and mail in your application to 400 South 4th Street, Waco, Texas. They look forward to helping you return to work!

Okay, this is the final thing we are going to share with you this time around. It is called The KAHN ACADEMY. The Kahn Academy is a website that offers assistance to individuals who are having difficulty in their studies, so this could be useful to you as well as to your children, or anybody you know who is experiencing difficulties in completing their school work. Here’s the info:

This website tells it all. Go ahead; try it. You will be amazed. It covers subjects in:


American Civics

Arithmetic and Pre-Algebra

Art History

Banking and Money


Brain Teasers

Brit Cruise

CAHSEE Example Problems



Competition Math

Computer Science

Cosmology and Astronomy

Credit Crisis


Current Economics

Differential Equations


GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)

Geithner Plan


Healthcare and Medicine


Macroeconomics and Microeconomics




SAT Preparation



Venture Capital and Capital Markets and so much more…..

Take note, that needing these resources does not say anything about you. We all need help at one time or another. It’s what you do with the resources that are given to you that make the difference. We hope these resources help you make it until that next job.

Good Luck! △




By Yolanda L Salazar

I hope you had time to take the small test we provided in Job Club Discussion #7, Punctuation on August 29, 2012. The comments were varied. Some felt it was rather easy and they felt good that they had done pretty well. Others indicated that it was more difficult than the previous week with the Grammar questions. Hmm…

Regardless, I have provided for you the questions as they were asked in the discussion and then a corrected version beneath it. After that is a brief description of each punctuation mark, its uses and examples. Please continue to test yourself from time to time. You will be amazed how you can still remember some of the rules we learned in grade school.

Check out your answers below and see how you did. Did you do well? I hope so.

1. Chloe tried to buy the $9.99 CD at the store on Memphis St but someone had only given her 9.45 INCORRECT
Corrected: Chloe tried to buy the $9.99 CD at the store on Memphis St., but someone had only given her $9.45.

2. Nine-tenths, .9, is written out as .09. INCORRECT
Corrected: Nine-tenths is written out as .9.

The period is used in varied ways. A period is used to indicate the ending of a sentence.
The secretary is a vital part of the office.

It ‘s also used in abbreviations to show a short form of a word.
Street = St., Collins St.

It’s used in dollar amounts to separate dollars from cents.
Ten Dollars and Fifty-five cents – $10.55

And it’s used in decimals to designate portions of whole numbers. Nine-tenths = .9
3. Alec, brother to Baby Joshua, has the best toys in the playroom. CORRECT

4. Margie began her new employment on Wednesday October 1 2012.
Corrected: Margie began her new employment on Wednesday, October 1, 2012.

The comma has many, many uses. Here are just a few. It is used to separate independent sentences joined by a conjunction.
The phone was ringing, but Carolyn wasn’t in her office.

Used after a dependent clause before an independent sentence.
Before Beth left the office, she called for a cab.

Another use is to describe a noun or the subject of your sentence.
Sharon, the secretary next door, offered to cover the office in Brenda’s absence.

A comma also separates names, phrases or clauses.
Dora, Phillip, Deborah, and the Legal Division celebrated Marvin’s promotion.

You also use a comma to separate two adjectives in describing the same noun that might be misunderstood.
Henry has a loyal, dedicated secretary.

Commas can set off items in dates, addresses and cities.
Don began his employment on June 1,1987. He came from Chicago, Illinois.

It is also used to separate names from titles as well as after salutations in a letter to a friend.
John Brandon, Executive Director or… Dear Louise,

A comma is required after a complimentary closing in a letter.
Sincerely yours,

To set off a direct quotation, a comma is needed as well as indicating the omission of words.
Betty said, “We open at nine o’clock, not ten o’clock.”

5. The classroom consisted of four things, desks, chairs, computers and books. INCORRECT
Corrected: The classroom consisted of four things: desks, chairs, computers and books.

6. We had to cancel our trip: Rachel and her sister were sick. CORRECT

The colon is used to offset a series of items.
Four things are needed to make an office: a desk, a file cabinet, a telephone and a typewriter.

7. Melvin was very upset; the question for Job Club was not ready. CORRECT

8. Andrea answered the question correctly, therefore, she received the prize. INCORRECT
Corrected: Andrea answered the question correctly, therefore, she received the prize.

A semicolon is used to separate independent clauses joined by conjunctive adverbs.
Charles in Personnel did the best work; therefore, he got the raise.

It is also used to separate independent sentences that are closely related and at the same time sentences or phrases that make contrasting statements.
Bridget was ready; she wanted to begin her interview. or…
Love is forgiving; hate, vengeful.


9. We wanted to use Sheenas’ computer, but its security code was missing. INCORRECT
Corrected: We wanted to use Sheena’s computer, but its security code was missing.

10. Back in the 50s, we used to see a lot of Rock and Roll. INCORRECT
Corrected: Back in the 50’s, we used to see a lot of Rock and Roll.

The apostrophe shows possession of nouns and some pronouns.
Everyone in the office used Mae’s typewriter, but it was not anyone’s fault that it finally broke.

It is also used to indicate the omission of figures in such things as dates or the omission of letters in words that form contractions.
Teresa was in the Class of ’68, but she didn’t wish to come to the Reunion.

And, an apostrophe can form plurals of letters, symbols and figures.
Anita received all A’s in primary school back in the ’50’s and she would always mind her p’s and q’s.

DASH – —
11. The office crew decided to send 1-2 displays for the conference. CORRECT

12. James and Louise the two top sales persons received awards. INCORRECT
Corrected: James and Louise — the two top sales persons — received awards.

There are three types of dashes which are more commonly used. The en dash (-) is used between numbers, dates and places to designate extent or duration.
en –
The section on Filing is between Pages 45-53. or…
The office hours are between 9-5.

The em dash (—) has several more uses than the en dash. One of these is to show a break or change in thought in a sentence.
em —
The supervisor picked up — and no one bothered to stop him — the broken drawer of files.

Another use of the em dash is before and after material that is used to clarify or show emphasis.
The male and female employees of the month — Ray and Agnes — were presented with awards.

One other use of this type of dash is before a statement that summarizes the content of the sentence.
Name, height, weight and social security number — these items are required on your 1.D. card.

The last use of the em dash that I am going to tell you about is when you use it before the name of an author at the end of a quotation.
To be or not to be — Shakespeare

The last type of dash is two-em (- -) which is used to indicate the omission of a word or numbers or letters in a word.
2 em – –
Dear Mrs. —

13. May we please take your jacket. INCORRECT
Corrected: May we please take your jacket?

14. Your jacket was left where? CORRECT

The question mark ends a sentence posing an inquiry.
May we deliver your supplies before nine o’clock?

A second form of using the question mark is when uncertainty or doubt is expressed and you show it in parenthesis.
Mr. Quintin’s secretary said he would be back in his office around three (?) o’clock.

15. Hurry, the sale is on. INCORRECT
Corrected: Hurry! The sale is on.

16. Stop! Your purse is on top of your car. CORRECT

The exclamation point is used to indicate surprise or stress strong emotion.
“Hurry!” Penny said, “The fire alarm has been activated!”

17. The child will (one day) learn his own schedule. CORRECT

18. The report is due within ten, 10, days.
Corrected: The report is due within ten (10) days.

Parenthesis are used to set off descriptive phrases which are not required in a sentence.
The staff meeting broke up about four o’clock (a little longer than they had hoped it would last).

Parenthesis can also be used to set off series of numbers or letters used for listing purposes.
The staff meeting consisted of two individuals from each of the following programs: (a) Personnel (b) Legal, (c) Business Management, and (d) Administration. or…

The shelves available through the office supply store are: (1) two-tiered and (2) horizontal/vertical.

Quotation Marks 
19. “Sarah, asked Stacy, do you really want to use the software?”
Corrected: “Sarah,” asked Stacy, “do you really want to use the software?”

20. Yolanda “Yoli” went to the party with the group. CORRECT

The most important use of quotation marks is to enclose a direct quote.
“Jennifer,” asked Mr. Hall, “what time did you say Colonel Rector would be here for his appointment?”

Quotation marks are also used to enclose such things as chapters in a book, lectures, titles, movies, programs, and songs.
In reading the article “My Boss,” Keisha thought about the movie “9 to 5.”

One last use of quotation marks is to enclose slang expressions, nicknames or just ordinary words.
He was a “bum.” or…
Elizabeth “Liz” Thorne was invited to the class party.


That’s my article on Punctuation. Hope it was helpful. In closing, you are being given the Punctuation Tree, for future use, if you please.

Just click on the chart. I couldn’t get the tree to work; however, the chart works just fine.

Upon clicking a punctuation mark on the chart, you will be taken to a full page of rules and instructions on how to use that particular mark. And the best thing is that somewhere beneath all of this, is a section where you can take tests, just for fun!! Be careful! These are not easy. They are college level. Good Luck! △


Click on the mark(on the tree or in the chart)to jump to that section:
. ? ! :
; ( )
[ ] . . .
/ ,






Searching for Information

Searching for Information

by Sheena Williams

You Have A Question. You have a burning desire to get information. Happenstance has caused you to require the answer and

by gosh, you are going to get it! Swell, you turn to the library and then you turn to the internet, and your search has yielded nothing. Not a single thing. You are no closer to reaching your goal for researching than you were when you first started needing this information. Well, don’t worry! We are going to outline a few things that might help you on your way to gaining the knowledge that you need!

Keywords. Let’s say that your question is something like “What is paper made of?” Well, of course you’re going to turn up literally thousands of answers by just googling. But what if you wanted to find out about how a certain type of paper was made? This particular paper is made from the parchment of some exotic tree on the banks of the Nile. Farfetched when you could just google the paper, but when you don’t have anything else to go on than a location and the type of item, it makes for hard research. This is where keywords come in. You can go to any library or web browser and start searching for the words: paper, Nile, parchment, tree. The keywords not only narrow your search, but it will give the browser or book log — something to grab onto when searching. By narrowing the results down or separating them into parts, you come up with a whole that will lead you to the answer.

Phrases. Much like keywords, phrases will help you search for exact items dealing with the subject you are trying to get information on. You are searching for a book and you don’t know the title, the author or where the book can be found. You are looking for a song and you are unable to remember the song lyrics or you don’t know the name of the song. By searching for the whole phrase, you are giving instructions for the computer or library database to look for a string of words that are in sequence. It narrows the amount of searching that has to be done because of the very specific information you entered in the search engine.

Spelling. Spelling what you are looking for properly cannot be impressed upon enough. By spelling the name of what you are speaking of properly, you can find whatever you are looking for much faster. Unfortunately, in our world of creative ways of doing things, what you may think is the proper spelling of a word may not be the proper spelling of what you are looking for. If you are looking for a packaging and all you have is the word lid, the company may, in fact, have lids. They may, in fact, even be called Lids. But what you don’t know is that Lids is spelled Lydz. What you didn’t know is that the name of the item is a play on the spelling, and also the name of the owner, Lydia. The world of printing is not subject to the same laws as the rest of the literary world.

Ask Friends. When you hit a road block with your search, bounce some ideas off your friends! They may not only already know exactly where to look and give you suggestions, they may also know of another way of looking for something. They may have a phrase or some keywords you haven’t even thought or imagined. They may know more of that song you were searching earlier. They may know the address of that packing company. They may know that the business you are looking for is spelled a little differently. Your friends and family are a fount of information that you may not have tapped into who can get you that answer that much faster!

Frustration. Don’t, under any circumstances, get frustrated with your search. There is a lot of information out there which means there’s a lot of information you’ll have to weed through. There will be times when you will find everything around the subject, but not the exact subject you are seeking. There will be times when you see the exact title of what you want, but due to mislabeling, you turn up a site about the rain forest. That’s all well and dandy, but you were looking for information about card board boxes. Know that when you start the search that you may not come up with much the first time around. In fact, you may have the opposite and have too much information thrown at you with not only different pages, but different opinions. Just take a deep breath and wade through. You will find your targeted item or song or company.

Remember, with a little elbow grease and a few of the suggestions listed above, you will be able to find anything you desire on the internet or anywhere! △

Managers and Leaders

Managers and Leaders

by Marrisa Maldonado

The role of a manager and the role of a leader are often thought to go hand in hand. Many individuals think that in order to be a manager, you have to be a leader and vice versa, but the fact of the matter is that both positions have differences in their functionalities and in their duties. All managers have formal authority and status. Three main roles that managers assume are informal roles, interpersonal roles, and decisional roles.

The informal role of a manager concerns how they receive and relay information and how they monitor internal and external information.

Interpersonal aspects of their work include establishment and maintenance of interpersonal relations. Another aspect of their interpersonal duties is to be a figurehead and a liaison for subordinates in a symbolic manner.

A manager’s decisional duty includes entrepreneurship. They handle problems by turning them into opportunities, and they have to be negotiators and resource allocators.

The five major functions that managers perform are planning, organizing, command, coordinating, and control.

When it comes to planning, a manager has to determine an organization’s goals and think of logistics and resources.

Organizing/coordinating means that managers have to adapt and know how to integrate activities and tasks.

Command is based on a leadership function which means that it is the manager’s responsibility to direct and coordinate people and to motivate their employees.

Last but not least is the controlling function which entails monitoring the performance of their employees, correcting, implementing and reinforcing disciplinary actions, as well as keeping the organization on track.

If you are applying to a managerial position, you need to keep the responsibilities and roles that were previously listed in your mind and not take them lightly. Most people believe that if they can lead, then, that makes them a good manager, but this is not the case. The nature of managerial work is supposed to be used as a tool for the organization. Organizations are social interventions and are designed to accomplish tasks through group efforts. Managers are critical tools because managers should be able to understand and predict the behavior of people within organizations.

Basically, if you think that being a manager means separating yourself from your subordinates and interacting with them only when you need to communicate orders, you are in for a rude awakening. I would strongly recommend that you have strong communication skills and be proficient in emotional sensitivity if your goal is to take on managerial responsibilities. When you become a manager, your popularity level will change among your co-workers. If you are a people pleaser by nature, then, I would not recommend a managerial position for you because you cannot please everyone. Part of being a manager is making tough decisions that your employees may not agree with or like. People who want and like positive feedback in exchange for their hard work should not seek out a managerial position because most of the time, no one pats you on the back and gives you positive feedback for your work when you are a manager. If you have been promoted to a managerial position or are seeking employment in this position, keep in mind that the best managers only strive to receive respect from their employees. You should always want respect from others at your job and not be too concerned with employees liking you. Remember that “respect” and “like” are two different things in any aspect of life.

For those of you who are applying for jobs, but are not seeking managerial positions, I have not forgotten about you. Even though you are not seeking a managerial position, you have to be conscious of what type of manager is hiring you or what type of manager you are currently working for.

Managers hold two assumptions about the nature of their employees. A Theory X manager views employees as irresponsible and lazy. These managers assume that people dislike work and will do what is possible to avoid it. They believe that employees must be coerced, threatened, or punished for them to achieve goals.

Theory Y managers hold the assumption that people are responsible and employees are generally ambitious about their work. They also believe that people have self-direction toward completing tasks and goals. Which manager would you prefer? I do not know about the rest of you, but I think that Theory Y manager is the better candidate.

Now for those of you who strive to be leaders in the work place, I commend you for your goal, but I will explain what functions a leader has and you can decide if this is for you or not. For those of you who already identify yourselves as leaders, you can decide what type of leader you are because I will discuss two types of leadership styles as well.

Leaders are individuals who facilitate a movement by a group of people toward a common goal. Leadership is a process of influence. It is important for you to remember that not all managers exercise leadership! I cannot stress that point enough. Leadership is about coping with change and establishing direction. Leaders know how to motivate people by inspiring them to overcome obstacles. In order for an organization to be effective, it needs to have strong leadership and management, but in America, there is under leading and over managing.  There are a lot of leaders that have no formal authority within the workplace and there is nothing wrong with that. You tend to see this type of leadership the most in the work place. In general, most leaders have common characteristics from others which are more ambition, energy, desire to lead, self-confidence, high intelligence, and are high self-motivators. If you fit these characteristics, then, you have the makings of a leader! If you do not have any formal authority at your job, that does not mean that you cannot be a leader. In fact, I would advise you to be a leader even if you are not the boss because we need more leaders.

Now to be clear, I am not saying to overpower or undermine your boss or manager. All I am saying is to be a leader, if you want to be and let your manager do their duties, you must delegate.  In the U.S., most people are transactional leaders. These leaders base their interactions by straightforward exchanges between them and their followers. If their followers perform well, the leader will reward them. The main goal of this type of leader is to keep the behavior of their followers in line with the organization’s goals.

The other type of leader is the transformational leader which is the type of leader who uses vision to instill commitment in their followers.  This type of leader will make changes to an organization in order to change beliefs and attitudes of their followers. One type of leader is not better than the other. It all depends on the followers and the needs of those followers. If you are a follower, it is your personal needs that will drive you to decide which type of leader you will follow. Being a follower is not a bad thing at all because people who are leaders cannot lead if they have no followers. Leaders are not meant to be seen as individuals who can do it all, they need followers to help them carry through with their leadership. Everyone has a purpose and a part to play.

Now that you know the differences between a manager and a leader, you can decide which one you would prefer to be. Do you think it is better in the long run to be a manager or a leader? Do you think that one person can be both a manager and leader at the same time? Is your job or the one you are applying to being directed by a leader or a manager? Think about it. △

Grammar Income Test

Grammar Income Test

From Ash to Ask

by Sharon Rector


Understanding How Language Can Affect Your Income

In the summer of 1971, I was afforded the opportunity to attend Baylor University’s Upward Bound Program as an incoming freshman. I had just graduated from high school with good grades and a great overall school record on my way to college and eventually a good paying job. I never envisioned that I was about to learn a valuable and cautionary life lesson that has remained with me throughout my personal and professional life. By sharing my story, someone may reflect on how job opportunities can often hinge on their ability to speak and write effectively.

That summer, the very first college course I enrolled in was a Language/Speech Class (not necessarily of a remedial nature) although economically, I was considered to be an underprivileged student, however, just a regular freshman speech class required of all incoming students. The underlying purpose of the course, in the mindset and the philosophy of the Upward Bound Program, was to give economically challenged students like me a “head start” on their pathway to a college degree and a bright financial future.

The course syllabus included students speaking in front of their peers on a variety of topics chosen by the professor. The professor’s goals were dual. First, he wanted to gauge our life experiences as well as listen to how we could openly express those experiences through speaking publicly. Simple. No problem. I knew how to speak in front of people. I had been doing that all my life!

While daydreaming in class, I inadvertently missed a couple of pertinent points in reference to the grading system of the course. In order to stay abreast of what the professor explained to the class, I arrogantly raised my hand and bravely addressed the professor, “May I ash a question, please?” The professor who had gravitated from one side of the classroom back toward me looked stunned and gave me a stare that surely meant that I had just done something wrong. But what did I say?

I was perplexed with no clue of what possibly could have caused such a reaction, but I was sure that I had done something that was not quite appropriate. He initially did not answer my question. However, immediately after class, he pulled me aside and requested that I repeat the question I had posed to him earlier. I could see that he was listening more intently, so I humbly muttered to him again, “I just wanted to ash you a question….” He stopped me immediately and thankfully, without embarrassing me any further, he calmly and compassionately explained to me that I had incorrectly pronounced the word “ask” and how it might be attributed to my cultural and social surroundings. To my astonishment, my speech professor insisted that I repeat the three-letter word every class period for weeks until I no longer mispronounced what I thought was such a simple and unassuming word.

The straightforward lesson in this story is that the manner in which we express ourselves, verbally and in writing, functions as a mirror into who we are as communicators and most importantly, who we could be as potential employees. Proper language is essential to effective communication. Without honing this skill, your message may be lost or you could be ignored entirely.

Most people are so familiar with their own language that there is little to no realization as to how it affects their daily lives. Language usage exemplifies how others may evaluate our belief system and values, and how well we can relay ideas, emotions, and yes, even logic. Among those evaluating you, could very well one day be a future employer who will determine your potentiality as a part of their company’s workforce and your monetary value.

In the website E-How, contributor Felicia Dyer’s “Language is the Tool,” she states that one must develop proper oral communication skills to adequately organize perceptions and develop higher order cognitive processes. She also surmises that poor language development, therefore, affects a person’s ability to be a problem-solver and to think independently.

Lera Boroditsky, author of “How Does Our Language Shape the Way We Think,” writes that the simple cognitive faculty of language could affect someone getting an education, meeting new friends, holding a job, or even starting a family.

Recently, I took an impromptu test titled The Grammar Income Test. If you have come to this article, trying to find where you fall on the Salary Scale, I see you have also taken the test. I will get to that information shortly. This test, which is administered to college students through the University of Mottsburgh Occupational University Grammatical Knowledge, assesses and rates the correlation between grammar/language (inclusive of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage skills) and a person’s potential income. According to the scale, I qualified for employment as an upper management individual. Ironically, when I retired in 2003, it was as an assistant principal of an elementary school with enrollment of approximately 1,300 students. Could this assessment be a valid indicator of how language affected my income potential? Quite possibly. Well, let’s take a look at the answers as well as the projected salary and occupational level of what you did.

Question Answer Correction
1. Her choice will strongly effect the outcome. Incorrect Her choice will strongly affect the outcome.
2. We have alot of work to do Incorrect We have a lot of work to do.
3. Mottsburgh is a very busy industrial city, thousands of cars and trucks move through it every day. Incorrect Mottsburg is a very busy industrial city; thousands of cars and trucks move through it every day.
4. “I suppose”, she remarked “that success comes only with time.” Incorrect “I suppose,” she remarked “that success comes only with time.”
5. The company should receive the package tomorrow. Correct
6. Its impressive to hear what she has done. Incorrect It’s impressive to hear what she has done.
7. She was late, however, she did make the presentation. Incorrect She was late; however, she did make the presentation.
8. Give the book to whom? Correct
9. When the ship arrives we can begin the journey. Incorrect When the ship arrives, we can begin the journey.
10. We rafted down the grand mountain river. Incorrect We rafted down the Grand Mountain River.
11. The name of the book was “Outbreak.” Incorrect The name of the book was “Outbreak.”
12. There were four in the group: Ann, Jim, Theo, and Amanda. Correct
13. He sings good. Incorrect He sings well.
14. You shouldn’t lie on the wet grass. Correct
15. He paid all the interest on the principal. Correct
16. I wish to go irregardless of his decision. Incorrect I wish to go, regardless of his decision.
17. He doesn’t know history very well. As you can see from his answers in class. Incorrect He doesn’t know history very well, as you can see from his answers in class.
18. He imagined that Hawking would have all the answers but he just posed more questions. Incorrect He imagined that Hawking would have all the answers, but he just posed more questions.
19. Spiraling in the Andromeda Galaxy, Dr. Vilhelm insists that there is alien life on the Andromeda planet called Lanulos. Incorrect I really don’t know why this statement is incorrect, other than Lanulos is considered an imaginary planet. Can anyone help with this?
20. We packed all of our luggage, then we were on our way to the airport. Incorrect We packed all of our luggage, then, we were on our way to the airport.

Now for the salary part. This is where you discover that your answers can determine your salary capacity and occupational level. Take a look at this.

0 to -4 $150,000 and above Top Executive
-5 to -6 $90,000 to $150,000 Upper Management
-7 to -8 $60,000 to $90,000 Key Personnel
-9 to -12 $25,000 to $60,000 Semi-Skilled
-13 to -18 $10,000 to $25,000 Unskilled
-20 or more $0 to $10,000 Unemployable

As an assistant principal, I witnessed numerous interviews where potential employees used a colloquial such as “ain’t” or mispronounced the word “children” and replaced it with the word “chilren”, or incorrectly used punctuation or verb usage on their resumes. In the eyes of the school administration, these errors were unforgivable and no three-piece suit or well-manicured hairstyle could overcome the damage. Therefore, these applicants were almost always deemed not qualified, a bad hire, or potentially unemployable.

The thesis of the Grammar Income Test was a very simplistic one. Individuals who make such errors and mistakes in oral and written presentations are often viewed as not intelligent, or maybe incompetent, and usually such articulation errors are indicative of a lack of social and educational maturity. Such subtleties can result in prejudices against you and could keep you from getting the job and income you deserve.

The reality is that some people believe that they are just not adept at learning to speak correctly. Then there are some who do not realize their grammatical errors until it’s too late. Be very cognizant not to de-emphasize your communication skills by keeping the following points in mind.

  1. Never use colloquial language or slang. No matter how relaxed the atmosphere might be, you never know what subtleties a potential employer may be targeting.
  2. When preparing your resume always spell check, then edit, spell check, and edit again. People sometimes have the propensity to write in the same mode as they speak. Keep in mind that incorrect language is still incorrect language, whether it’s oral or written.
  3. Know the company to which you are applying. Know the company “buzz” words. Know how to pronounce those words and make sure you know what those words mean.
  4. Speak clearly and decisively. Don’t add words that you are unsure of and by all means, keep it simple and direct.
  5. Practice responses to possible questions. If you have researched the company and know the position you are applying for, you should have an idea of questions that could potentially be asked of you.
  6. Critique yourself. If it doesn’t sound correct to you, it won’t sound correct to your audience. Listen to yourself speak in front of a mirror. Sometimes, you can be your own best critic.

Much time has passed and it’s been quite a successful journey since the days of ash to ask. I stand in amazement on the impact of one moment in time and the empathy of a caring college professor who made me aware of how mispronouncing a simple three-letter word could have negatively changed my life. In retrospect, he unknowingly did me a favor that lasted a lifetime. I leave you with this story to ponder and a notable quote from English Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889).

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”

NOTE: Just a small note regarding the Grammar Income Test. This test was a bit fabricated. However, the concept of the test is very real.

Every day individuals who make grammatical errors are victims of a pervasive but seldom discussed prejudice. People assume that those who make frequent grammatical errors are unintelligent, not very knowledgeable, and incompetent. None of this may be true. Language habits are more indicative of social background than education and ability. However, any business executive will support the notion that grammatical skill directly affects promotion. So, the idea behind the Grammar Income Test is valid, although the scored income level may not be. △