Success Stories


Shawnita Harris has been a resident of Benning Heights apartments, in Washington, DC, for more than 8 years. In November of 2017, Shawnita was referred to Turnaround, Inc.’s workforce empowerment program by her Operation Pathways, Resident Services Coordinator, Ms. Adeela Abassi. Shawnita has spent the last 18 years as a single parent, raising two boys on her own. When she came in to interview with Turnaround, she was re-entering the workforce after spending more than 2 years unemployed.

Shawnita was hired, and from her very first day on the job, she demonstrated that she is highly motivated and ready to get her hands dirty. Over the course of her employment, she has learned so many new trade skills. Including, painting, drywall, apartment turnover processes, as well as basic electrical and plumbing skills. She has mastered the use of several power tools, overcoming fear and uncertainty, through sheer determination and grit. As a result of her commitment to her own advancement, Shawnita recently received a promotion, to the role of Crew Lead. The duties of her new role include, delegating tasks among other crew members, ensuring quality control, coordinating job logistics with site staff, ordering materials, and driving the crew in the work van.

The stability she has created for herself, through consistent housing and employment, empowers Shawnita to manifest a future that once seemed like a distant fantasy. Her eyes sparkle with joy, as she speaks of the increased confidence and sense of self-worth she has gained from full-time employment. She loves her job and enjoys building upon the relationships she has forged with her coworkers. She strives to continue advancing with Turnaround, and her dedication and perseverance ensure that the sky is truly the limit for Shawnita.