ASB President, Operation New Hope/New Hope High School
Q: What was the situation or problem?
A: In high school, I never wanted to go to class. I got into fights and didn’t pay attention and made some bad decisions. I found out about Operation New Hope through one of my managers and then entered the Cal Works Program. I became a receptionist at Operation New Hope and when they found out that I didn’t have a high school diploma, two months later I started school.
Q: How did the WIB assist and what services were provided?
A: I enrolled in the San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board’s WIA youth program in July 2010 and it has been a great help. I’m a young working mom with a one-year old child and money is very tight. There are times when the gas cards they give us to come to school and go to work really make this possible. The incentives we receive when we attend workshops are very helpful but what has really made a difference is the job readiness class. I never knew what a resumé was until I took the class. The Monster.com events have also been very inspiring. You can’t help but think about the end of the program when you won’t have all this support. I’m a better person now and I know when that time comes, I won’t need that outside help anymore. I’ve learned how to budget and be responsible at my job and for my own future.
Q: What was the outcome?
A: In addition to working and taking classes, I’m now ASB president of New Hope High School and I help out with fundraisers. One of my responsibilities is selling t-shirts for the high school and I keep the inventory and deposit the money. Even though we’re a small school and all of us are here because we didn’t finish high school or because of drugs, pregnancy and other obstacles, I feel it’s important to create a sense of school pride and spirit. I know how a lot of the other kids feel – We are not good or smart or can do this – so I’m here to encourage them. Last semester, I was taking college classes but I backed off so I could focus completely on finishing my high school diploma.
Please give us a quote from about how this assistance impacted you and your future:
“My ultimate goal is to transfer from community college to university and become a nurse. My mentors are so helpful and they know how to answer my questions, or help me to find the answers that keep me going.”
In December 2009, Ashlynn Hornbeck struggled to support herself and pay for classes on a part-time salary from a local fast-food restaurant. Rising tuition pushed her further away from her dream of becoming an RN.
With a 25% youth unemployment rate in San Bernardino County, Hornbeck was one of thousands of youth struggling to get a foothold in career.
When Hornbeck discovered the certified nursing assistant job-training program at the Career Institute funded by the San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board, it was in her words, “an amazing blessing.”
“I got a job against all the odds,” she proudly exclaimed of her internship position at the Villa Mesa Care Center. “I feel like I can go out there now and do anything.”
Not only was Hornbeck able to find steady employment, she found one-on-one guidance with her mentor and is now a part-time college student gaining valuable work experience in her career field. In August 2010, Hornbeck along with 101 local youth were honored for completing their summer work experience program, occupational certification and for receiving their customer service certification.
Alyssa Borgfield, PAL Center
When Alyssa Borgfield, 19 of San Bernardino, CA graduated from high school she had no hope and no plan for her future. She was kicked out of her home and living with friends. She didn’t have the grades or the financial resources to go to college and pursue her dream of becoming a registered nurse. Nor did she have the experience to qualify for a part-time job.
Once Alyssa enrolled at the PAL (Provisional Accelerated Learning) Center, she met a mentor who really cared about her. She was given intensive career training and tutoring from a new partnership between the Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County and Monster.com to present a series of workshops called, “Making Your Future Count.”
These workshops are designed to guide youth to a career path that best suits them. The program also shows youth how to access community college, universities, vocational schools, financial aid, and job placement.
Alyssa now has a place to live and a second place to call home at PAL. With the support of her mentor and fellow students, she is confident that she will pass her skills test to qualify for a paid certified nursing assistant training program. “The PAL Center and the Monster.com workshop have helped me see beyond the obstacles and create a plan to achieve my goal,” she beams proudly.
By May 5, 2011, it is expected more than 1,500 County at-risk youth, ages 16-21, will have participated in the six-month series of career path and positive life choice workshops.
Like many young people trying to find their first job, Sandi Armijo kept running into the same wall. Every job she applied for demanded experience that she lacked. When her mentor at the Pal Center recommended the Summer Youth Employment Program, Sandi jumped at the chance. She received one-on-one help with interviewing and her resumé which landed her a paid internship as a fiscal assistant with the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Department. As Sandi works towards her accounting degree at Cal State San Bernardino, Sandi’s work experience is helping her get ahead both in the classroom and out in the real world environment. “I’m now doing the things that my professors talk about,” she said. “If you really like what you do, everything can happen as long as you want it bad enough.”
The Career Institute inspired Jessica Uribe to consider a career in social work. She went from working part-time at Jack in the Box, with no aspirations to attend college or any hope for a better paying job. But when she applied at the Career Center and began interning once a week, her whole outlook on life changed. “I love how the Career Institute helps youth,” Jessica said. “Now I feel like I can help change people’s lives, too, maybe as much as mine has been changed.”
The first thing Da’Shawn Garrett appreciated when he sat down for his interview at CRY-ROP was that someone took the time to get to know him. “When I went to ROP, it wasn’t like school,” he said. “They sit you down for a personal interview and ask what you want to do.” Through the encouragement of his mentor, Da’Shawn got back to school and has been studying for his GED test. He received administrative experience in the office of Assembly Member Pedro Nava, which has inspired him to pursue a future career in politics. After he completes his GED, he plans to attend college and enter a career that helps other young people. In the meantime, he has been an inspiration to his three younger brothers. “This program brought out the best in me and changed my life,” Da’Shawn claims proudly.
Krista Adams describes the Career Institute as, “A bridge that connects people to schooling and ROP training.” Both her and her husband found themselves struggling financially and moving from one place to another. “We have a willingness and desire to go further in our lives but not enough money and resources to get us where our hearts and minds want to be,” she said. Krista is learning to perform payroll services through her job at PM Management and feels that through the attention and motivation of her mentors, she will work her way into a career in hospital and nursing home administration. “My mentors go way above and beyond what they have to,” says Krista.
Ashley Harrison went from unemployment to helping plan the Y4 Event in 2010. As a computer science major with a minor in graphic design at Cal State San Bernardino, Ashley found herself helping design the event logo, organizing breakout sessions and coordinating the music at the event. “Through the Summer Youth Employment Program and the year-round program, I got to experience the professional world before graduating,” she said. “They allowed me to get my foot in the door and prove myself.”
With the guidance he received through the New Start Program, David McVay was able to create a resumé and overcome one of his biggest fears. “Before this instruction, when an employer asked me in an interview to tell them something about me, I didn’t know how to answer,” David admits. The power statements David learned gave him the confidence to deal with tough questions about his past. He felt he found a place where he could come for help to learn skills such as online job searching and resumé support. “This program makes you accountable and pushes you to get out there and look for jobs,” David said. Now an honor paralegal student at Victor Valley College, David has gained a lot of hope for his future.