Each year, over 100 people complete job training programs at Project Hope. We want to share with you the story of one of these people, Queen, a woman of strength and courage.
Nakira's life was turned upside down in 2002 when she became a mother…of triplets. Nakira worked as a medical assistant until giving birth to her children. Her once comfortable budget was stretched in every direction. She decided to work as a preschool teacher. This option provided her a job along with childcare. Taking care of children all day then going home to her own "childcare center" proved to be exhausting and it wasn't providing her with the income she needed to take care of her family.
When her children were 4, Nakira decided that she needed to get a job that paid a living wage and offered a career track. She found a flyer for Project Hope's Workforce Development Program and knew instantly this program was exactly what she needed. After finishing the program, Nakira completed an internship and then found full-time employment at a Boston area hospital.
Nakira has held her full time job since 2006. She credits Project Hope for helping her in more ways than one. "I have become gainfully employed and can now support myself and my three children. I've received help with childcare and other resources for my children as a direct result of having been associated with Project Hope," Nakira said. Nakira stayed the course, despite the twists and turns along the way.
Maria V., a single mother, moved to Boston from her native Peru in 2005 to create a life of opportunities for her two children. She was faced with many challenges when she first moved to the United States, but the one that held her back the most was her struggle to understand and speak English.
The biggest impact the language barrier had on her life was on her employment. She was only able to find employment at a local hotel and in the lunchroom at an elementary school. Despite these two jobs, she was struggling to afford her market rent apartment. Maria knew she needed a higher paying job to afford housing in Boston, and to get a better job, she needed to improve her English skills.
Maria's friend told her about Project Hope and she quickly enrolled in Project Hope's ESOL program. After two years in Project Hope's ESOL program, Maria's English and confidence had dramatically improved. While in the program, she spoke with her Education Counselor about her housing situation and careers for a better job. Maria received support from Project Hope's Housing Support Services and Workforce Development & Employer Partnerships program. She was able to maintain her rent and worked to improve her resume, interview and computer skills.
Her determination and the support she received paid off when she was offered a position at a Boston area hospital in July. She is bursting with pride because she has finally provided her children with the opportunities she had always dreamed: Her daughter is beginning her freshman year at Northeastern University on an academic scholarship and her son is enrolled at Boston Latin School.
In 2009, Laphen and her family migrated from Jamaica to Boston. She was unemployed and struggling to take care of her family. Laphen came to Project Hope to find a career that would support her family. She entered one of Project Hope's job training programs. This six-week training program helped improve her customer service skills, resume writing and basic medical terminology. When Laphen completed the program, she was hired as an Administrative Assistant in a Boston area hospital.
Laphen also joined the Project Hope Speakers Bureau to improve her public speaking and expand her communication skills. She was impressed by how personable everyone was at Project Hope. They were always willing to listen, offer suggestions and were very supportive.
Laphen was recently promoted at the hospital and has started to take classes to complete her degree in Business Administration. Upon completing her degree, she hopes to obtain a managerial position within the healthcare industry. With Laphen's determination and positive attitude, we know that she will reach this goal.