The narratives below highlight two young female participants, Cristina V. and Jennifer Q., who are enrolled in EAC Network’s Mission Employment program, which assists at-risk youth 18-24 towards a career path. Through determination and guidance, they both have improved the quality of their lives well as the lives of their families.
Cristina V. came to Mission Employment as a young wife and mother seeking better employment opportunities as well as possible training for new career paths. During this time she attended monthly financial, entrepreneurial, and labor market/employment information workshops that were conducted by guest speakers who had been invited by Mission Employment staff.
When she first enrolled in Mission Employment, Cristina was employed off the books at a local fish market in an undesirable location and with a “not very understanding” employer. Her family was struggling financially; her husband was also working off the books, as a dishwasher. It was through Mission Employment’s assistance exploring job training opportunities that she was about to select a LIEOC Developmental Education course. She always valued the importance of an education, especially since she was able to receive a TASC diploma by attending prep classes at Mission Employment the year prior.
Once she had both her TASC diploma and successfully completed her training course, she started seeking employment that utilized her bilingual skills. She secured new employment as a receptionist with an immigration law firm, where she earns above the minimum wage and has complete health benefits and paid sick time. Her job duties go beyond receptionist, and she’s learning more about the field. As a result, her new aspiration is to become a paralegal. She also wants to give back to her community. Great job, Cristina!
Jennifer Q. is a young single mother who also found employment while enrolled in Mission Employment. She began as a receptionist with a dumpster rental company, and as the months went by she was given more responsibility while learning various aspects of the job. Her work ethic and ability to learn quickly did not go unnoticed by the owner of the company. A few months later, he transferred her to his newly acquired business with a promotion to Administrative Assistant/Customer Service Manager. She loves the company and her work responsibilities. She’s now a salaried employee with health benefits. In addition, she recently enrolled herself in aesthetics school at the New York Institute of Beauty (NYIB) and plans to continue into advanced classes! Congratulations, Jennifer!
For more information on Mission Employment, click here.
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Shereen Goodson is an accomplished professional who has used her 30 years of managerial expertise in the not-for-profit field for the development and growth of youth and adult employment and educational programs. She is the Program Director for the Mission Employment and Nassau Enhanced Employment Initiative programs.