Luisanna, John Muir Health

Luisanna had a difficult childhood – she never knew her father and spent most of her youth dealing with her mentally ill mother. Despite these obstacles, she graduated high school and found a job as an administrative assistant, where she worked for six years. Suddenly she was laid off and lost her hard-earned stability. She searched for work for two years, was left discouraged, hopeless and lost. Luisanna needed relevant skills and a connection to an employer that would give her a chance. JVS’s Medical Administrative Assistant training program in partnership with John Muir Health was her answer. After months of intensive skills training and a paid internship, her dream came true — she was offered a full-time position as a Medical Receptionist at John Muir Health Urgent Care clinic in San Ramon. Luisanna now has a satisfying career where she makes a difference in lives of every clinic patient she helps.

“JVS helped me get to where I am now – I love it! I love knowing that I’m walking into John Muir Health and I’m going to help somebody.” – Luisanna


John had a successful career in financial services and technology, until a horrific accident nearly killed him. After seven years of recovery, he was medically cleared to go back to work, but his entire industry had changed. John quickly realized that he needed to update his skills and combat the stigma of long-term unemployment and joined JVS’s Salesforce Administrator training. In five months, John re-built himself. He successfully completed the program, became a Salesforce Certified Administrator and gained hands-on experience with a paid fellowship at KQED. Today he works for MDLIVE, a leading telehealth provider (his first full-time job in almost 10 years!)

“The training I received at JVS is ultra relevant to my job at MDLIVE because what I learned in class, I’m doing at work.” – John

Skills to Work in Healthcare – Yasmeen’s Story

At JVS we believe the best way out of poverty, is a job.

Despite the remarkable growth of the tech industry, inequality is increasing in the Bay Area faster than in any other part of the country. Good jobs at living wages exist, but thousands of people remain unemployed or underemployed because they lack the skills employers seek, and can’t afford additional training. JVS is bridging this gap by helping people like Yasmeen build in-demand skills, get career-building jobs, and provide better lives for themselves and their families.

Patricia, UCSF

Patricia, a native San Franciscan and mother of three, had a solid job until the recession hit. She witnessed her office shut down piece by piece when operations – and her job – moved overseas. Initially, she was not worried; she was a Navy veteran with over 25 years of work experience. But three years later, she was still unemployed.

JVS was her job coach, advocate and connector. Through a training program for UCSF medical administrative assistants, Patricia learned new skills, built confidence and impressed her colleagues during a 4-month paid internship at UCSF. A self-professed “slow and steady” learner, Patricia reinvented herself with strong determination and tenacity. Today she is a proud Senior Secretary at UCSF’s School of Dentistry.

“Life was difficult for me and my boys for a while, but JVS gave me what I needed to lift myself up and find work. My work is so much more than a job — it’s my lifeline.” – Patricia

Sean, Carpenters Local 22

Sean knew from a young age that he wanted to work with his hands. He had spent countless hours learning from his father and helping his family’s curtain installation business in San Francisco. School didn’t interest him much, and skipping classes were the norm during his early high school days. He and his friends kept getting into trouble, and he knew that if things didn’t change soon, he would end up in Juvenile Hall or even worse.

JVS was there for Sean at the right time and the right place. Through a JVS program at John O’Connell High School, Sean was able to graduate high school and turn his love for carpentry into a promising career path. At age 19, Sean is a union Apprentice Carpenter at the Historic Pier 70 Project, where his skilled work in restoring antique windows is playing an important part in the transformation of the city’s landscape.

“My path was not straight and narrow. JVS opened doors for me and helped me figure out each step. I’m grateful to have a career that allows me to pay my bills and help my parents.” – Sean