Kate Leverages Career Programs, Personal Drive to Change Her Direction

Kate was a participant of Association House’s Transitions to Career Program where she received temporary employment with the Department of Streets and Sanitation. Looking to build more skills, she also co-enrolled and successfully completed the Customer Service and Retail Training program. Despite her long 14-hour work days, Kate felt she should maximize her hiring potential by taking additional training and hoped this would help overcome the negative impact of her criminal background.

After graduating from the CSRT program, Kate passed the exam and obtained her National Retail Federation Foundation Certification. She then found employment as a caterer with Sodexho/Marriott.

Association House staff recently attended the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards where they ran into Kate who was working the event. To the program staff member, the President, and Chief Development Officer, Kate expressed her gratitude for the training and services offered at Association House. Kate’s success is an example of the power that effective programming and personal drive can have in creating tangible change in a person’s life.

Maria Learns Healthy Lifestyles for Herself, Daughter and Grandmother

At 17, Maria was pregnant and missing school because she was often sick. In addition, she was the primary care-provider for her grandmother who suffered from a number of health issues. As these issues became “too much for her to handle,” she dropped out of high school. A year and a half later, after learning about the school from her cousin, Maria enrolled in Association House’s El Cuarto Año High School to earn her high school diploma and enrolled her daughter, who was almost two, in the Out of School Time Sitter Services program.

As a requirement to graduate, Maria was required to take a health class. She enrolled in a special course specifically for parenting students that was developed and taught by the Healthy Lifestyles Program. After telling the Healthy Lifestyles trainer about her grandmother, she was given a Cook County Prescription Drug Discount Card, which helped her and her grandmother save nearly $200 per month on her prescriptions.

Maria, now 20, enrolled in the Healthy Lifestyles’ Parenting Series to “learn how to be the best mom I can.” In a program evaluation survey she stated: “It sounds corny but I finally realize the importance of being healthy. I didn’t even realize the things I was doing. I want to be healthy for my daughter and I want my daughter to be healthy. I love my grandma but I don’t want my daughter to have to put her life on hold to take care of me when I am older. Thanks to Nilmari and the health and nutrition classes I attended, I know how to find healthier food at the grocery store, how to make healthy meals, and how to have fun and be exercise with my daughter.”

Alma Finds New Career and Success in Customer Service

Alma graduated from Customer Service Training & passed the NRF Certification exam. She has 20 years previous experience working as a loan processor at a bank that was closed by the FDIC. After being displaced Alma found it difficult to find a new job with her narrowed work experience and a job that would provide the salary to support her family. Without previous customer service experience the CSRT Training helped her develop new skills that are advantageous in the current job market. After adding CSRT Training and NRFF Certification to her resume she started to receive more notice from employers. Alma applied for a job with the Chicago Laborers Union as a customer service rep. The hiring manager was not only impressed with her 20 years of work experience, but that she also stayed productive while unemployed and learned new skills in customer service. This resulted in her being offered a job as a Customer Service Rep earning $26/hr FULLTIME & Benefits! Our highest paid Customer Service graduate to date!