Erica, UCSF

“This award means the world to me. I worked really hard for myself, and for my brother and for my sister, to get where I am today. I’m right here, where I want to be – in a career at UCSF.” — Erica, UCSF, 2018 Strictly Business Awards Luncheon

Erica is a natural, talented caregiver. She even took guardianship of her two siblings, so that they wouldn’t endure the same foster care upbringing she had. Particularly with this new responsibility, she needed substantial work. She had always dreamed of working at UCSF, but it wasn’t until she found JVS’s training program for Medical Administrative Assistants at UCSF that she truly found her calling. After the program and paid internship, Erica accepted a position as a Practice Coordinator at UCSF.

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.

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

Elisabeth, Department of Public Health

“I’m so glad I found JVS. They gave me and my family new life.” – Elisabeth

In the Ivory Coast, Elisabeth’s future as a physician and a public health professional was bright. She had accomplished so much already as the Chief of the Hematology Unit and HIV Project Manager for the National HIV Care Program. This all changed when she had to leave her life behind, fleeing her country to protect her family from military persecution. Elisabeth and her three children found safety and asylum in the United States, where they have remained since 2012.

Though highly skilled, she struggled to secure work and relied on local shelters for housing in the U.S. She found a way in through a JVS program that trains low-income San Franciscans for hard-to-fill positions as health care workers. Following JVS’s 10-week classroom training, Elisabeth excelled in her six-month paid internship at the Department of Public Health, where she currently works as an administrative assistant in the Behavioral Health Access Center. She’s on her way to becoming one of healthcare’s most sought-after leaders, newly equipped with the skills, tools and confidence to make it in America.