Tatiara came to UCAN approximately four years ago through the Family Works program and began utilizing services through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) in 2015. Through the program Tatiara has secured different jobs, allowing her to gain a variety of experiences. Her first positions were with a daycare and as an assistant at a real estate firm. During the program she participated in a job club that included group activities that help participants learn how to write resumes, complete applications and interview for positions. Tatiara did not have these essential skills before coming to UCAN.
The WIOA program assists youth ages 16-24 in workforce development, by providing job readiness training, educational resources; and assistance with job searching and placement. UCAN’s WIOA staff help youth participants ages 18-24 develop skills they can apply in the real world by conducting mock interviews and providing training in workplace behavior. Plans are individualized and created along with the youth.
Tatiara explained that like many young people, she was unaware of the skills needed to obtain a job prior to coming through the program. However, what resonated most with Tatiara was the personal touch that the staff at UCAN took. “They take you under their wing. You are not just another number but you are your own person. They really care about you. It’s like you’re part of a family or something,” she expressed.
Tatiara described how the staff at UCAN were instrumental in getting her enrolled in college, even providing assistance with helping her complete the necessary financial aid paperwork. “They encouraged me to get back in school. I didn’t have the initiative or support before.” She continued, “If I did not come to UCAN I would not be in school right now. I would probably just be sitting at home.”
Enrolled in her first semester at Malcom X College and on the path to completing a degree in psychology, Tatiara is motivated to complete her goals. “I know school is going to be hard but I just need to stay focused,” she said. She also has plans to intern at UCAN, which will further help to build her resume. With an interview scheduled for the last week in February, Tatiara has a positive outlook on her future.