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Self-Sufficiency Spotlight: Coastal Community Action, Inc., and Shakoora Miller

Ms. Shakoora Miller became a participant on the CSBG Self-Sufficiency Program on January 9 th, 2018, through the support of Ms. Diane McMillian, Family Development Specialist for Coastal Community Action, Inc.

A mother of two, Ms. Miller is no stranger to Coastal Community Action, Inc. as she has been an active and engaged parent with her children, who both attended the F. R. Danyus Child Development Center in New Bern, NC. Ms. Miller herself was also a Head Start child who attended the Duffyfield Child Development Center in New Bern, NC.

Ms. Miller’s initial contact with the CSBG Self-Sufficiency Program was to obtain assistance with paying for her Cosmetology State Exam, and to obtain her Cosmetology License. As a full-time student, Ms. Miller actively tried to create a better life for herself and her two children, however, she had some hardships along the way that prevented her from having the finances that she needed to make this happen.

Ms. Miller had established goals of obtaining her cosmetology license, debt repayment, credit repair, housing/transportation obtainment, gaining employment full-time in a hair salon, and ultimately, one day owning her own business.

As Ms. Miller progressed towards obtaining her Cosmetology License, she worked part-time on the weekends at JC Penney in the hair salon as a receptionist. She had completed her

cosmetology class in December of 2017, and was hopeful that she would complete the final step of taking the Cosmetology state exam. Ms. Miller expressed that after the final stage of taking her state exam, she would have an employment opportunity to work full-time at a hair salon owned and operated by her cosmetology instructor.

Ms. Miller took her Cosmetology state exam on March 19, 2018, passing with a score of 90,

which exceeded the score that she needed. Ms. Miller applied for her state license and became a certified cosmetologist; and began her career working full time at Creative Touch Hair Salon located in New Bern, NC in May 2018.

Over the course of the following years, Ms. Miller achieved many of her established goals which includes obtaining reliable transportation, repairing her credit and obtaining safe/affordable standard housing for herself and her family. In February of 2023, Ms. Miller began to work on her goal of becoming a salon business owner. Ms. Miller applied for her LLC as well as locating a space that she immediately knew was hers. Ms. Miller officially signed her commercial lease for her business on April 1, 2023 and is in the process of preparing the beauty salon for her opening in June 2023.

In the words of Ms. Miller “I’ve been doing hair since I was a pre-teen for little to no money at all, I feel overjoyed helping others look and feel their best. I started falling in love with my

passion, getting better by the head, and decided to take my God giving talent to the next level; I am very humble, outgoing and easy to get along with. I take pride in my work, and enjoy doing basic shampoo/styling, creative natural styles and braids with extensions. Time is always well spent with my clients, and they turn into family. Observing and learning their likes and dislikes is one of my main focus points, I truly love what I do!”

“It's stories such as this one that shows the world why Community Action exists!” says Stephanie Cox, CSBG Director. ”It has been a joy and an honor having the opportunity to meet and follow the growth and development of Ms. Miller. We encourage and empower our families and remind them that they truly can conquer not just their dreams but also the world!"

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