Essence's Story

Forming Life-Long Friendships

Essence Smith was in a bit of a rut. She was single and didn’t want to be, but was also overwhelmed by the thought of dating again. At a routine hair appointment, Essence’s stylist (and Cornerstones of Care employee), Toneisa Vaughn, told her about a class that she was teaching as part of our ShowMe Healthy Relationships program called PICK a Partner. Essence decided to give it a try.

Tonesia and the rest of our instructors are passionate about seeing individuals and couples understand how unhealthy habits are formed and their impact on relationships. Over the course of five weeks, Essence and her classmates talked about positive qualities and red flags to look out for as they explore potential relationships, along with principles to implement in order to set themselves up for relational success.

“I learned that you have to set boundaries in your relationships,” Essence explains. “I also learned that sometimes we have to take a step back and look at the other person’s point of view on things. This has already impacted my life. I’ve learned so many things about myself that I never knew.”

While working through content of the course, Essence formed strong bonds with several of the other members.  After the five weeks concluded, they kept in touch.

“I met so many ladies in the class, and we text almost every day,” she says. “They are amazing friends and we keep each other accountable always.” 

Over the summer, Essence and her new friends took a cruise to the Cayman Islands. “I was already going on the cruise and asked them about coming along as well. They had never been on one, so this was getting them out their comfort zone,” she says. Essence said t was so much fun that they are already planning their next adventure together.

Along with the PICK a Partner course, we offer Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work and a host of other relationship courses covering everything from budgeting to parenting principles. All of classes are free, open to the public, and for most, childcare is provided. For Essence, it was well worth the time invested.

“Please, please. please get into a class!” she says. “If I could do it all over again, I would love to. It was truly needed!”

Learn more about our ShowMe Healthy Relationship Program program.