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Cheyanne, Institute on Aging

At 18, Cheyanne was pregnant and working at a grocery store. Her family was leaving the Bay Area, leaving Cheyanne struggling to get into school and find a place to live. The odds were heavily stacked against her, and she knew something had to change. She liked the idea of having a career but didn’t know where to start. Though she doubted her ability in math, Cheyanne applied for a JVS program that would help her build a pathway into the healthcare field. Her JVS counselor worked with her intensively – tutoring her in math and study skills, helping her explore healthcare careers and getting her prepared for the paid internships she needed to start building a better life for her and her baby. Though she nearly gave up several times, she persevered each day – studying, caring for her child and holding sight of her goals: self-sufficiency and a certified nursing assistant degree. Her hard work started to pay off. One year later, she landed her first full-time job as a home healthcare provider. Today, Cheyanne continues to work hard at her full-time job with Institute on Aging, and has accomplished the two goals she set for herself three years ago. She is proud to pay for her own apartment, take care of her daughter and is excited to go back to school to climb the healthcare ladder.

“I can dream a little bigger now. Working and raising my daughter isn’t easy, but JVS helped me clear a path that I was starting to think didn’t exist. It does exist, and now that I’m on it, there’s no way I’m not going to be successful.” – Cheyanne

Genoveva, CVS

Genoveva is a native San Franciscan and the daughter of hard-working Mexican immigrants. Expectations to help raise and take care of her siblings, serve as translator for her parents, and work in the family restaurant were all too high for a 16-year old. Soon enough, she started skipping school and hanging out with the wrong crowd. Genoveva was walking on dangerous grounds when she arrived at Downtown High, a school for students in danger of dropping out. JVS’s two-pronged approach helped Genoveva graduate, enter post-secondary education and find stable employment. Today, Genoveva is steering her own course and is on a management track at CVS. The pride in her parents’ eyes propels her to be a better daughter, sister and role model.

Widny, Uniqlo

Widny lived a sheltered life at 16 in New Jersey until a freak accident changed his young life. Struggling with the aftermath, medical issues and depression, Widny was headed towards a dark future. Framed as a one-week vacation, his parents bought him a (secret) one-way ticket to San Francisco. Though angry and resentful, Widny accepted his fate and made some positive changes. JVS played a pivotal role, helping him graduate from high school, enroll in City College and get a job at Uniqlo. He’s on his way to achieving his greatest potential and has big plans to become a physical therapist.

Alfonso, Postal Chase

Alfonso’s life was spiraling downward fast. Poor decisions and the wrong friends landed him, at age 15, in juvenile court. With the respect and guidance he needed, JVS helped him get back on his feet and focused. He prepared for a better future with marketable skills in cash handling and customer service and learned how to promote himself with resumes and interviews. After a JVS-placed internship with Postal Chase, he was hired full-time and had worked steadily for over two years. Today, Alfonso is a successful assistant manager at the busiest store in the chain, supervising staff and mentoring JVS interns.

Joseph, Ross Stores

Joseph’s survival instinct kicked in early in his life. His mother, battling drug additional and incarceration, struggled to support him emotionally and financially. On the verge of homelessness at the age of 19, Joseph found a helping hand at JVS. He took full advantage of one-on-one job readiness training, prepared countless resumes and cover letters, practiced for interviews and, most importantly, took part in JVS’s retail training program. While working at Office Max, a manager at Ross Stores, Inc. noticed Joseph’s excellent customer service skills and recruited him. Today, after only two years, Joseph is the area supervisor at the Daly City Ross store and is proud to be self-sufficient.