At The HOPE Program, we believe that everybody deserves the chance to work and grow, no matter what barriers to employment they may be facing. We recognize that employment is a huge achievement for those confronted with a lack of higher education, histories of incarceration or addiction, and more challenges. That’s why whenever a job training program participant rings the bell in our office to celebrate achieving employment, our entire HOPE community comes together to celebrate that individual’s success. In 2017, one of our clients, Clara Z, beat remarkable odds and achieved several victories that we continue to celebrate today.
Clara left a troubled home and dropped out of school at age 15. She found it nearly impossible to provide for herself with little education and no work experience. While applying for public assistance at the age of 22, Clara learned about The HOPE Program. At HOPE, Clara found strength and built confidence, learning new computer skills and preparing for mock interviews. Clara leveraged these new skills into a job in a dental office, but a year later, when a position became available in our Development Department, Clara’s Employment Specialist encouraged her to apply. Thanks to that encouragement and guidance, Clara is now a proud, full-time Development Assistant at HOPE, the winner of the 2018 New York Employment and Training Coalition’s Program Participant Award, and High School Equivalency recipient. In addition, this fall, Clara enrolled in her first semester of college! She hopes to continue helping marginalized communities through her position at HOPE and beyond as she pursues higher education.
Seeing clients like Clara advance in their careers and build brighter futures is exactly what motivates us to enhance our training program, grow our relationships with local employers, and impact more and more lives each year. Watch the video below to meet Clara and learn about how our program put her on a path to a successful and meaningful career.