Four Soon-to-be-Grads Share Stories of Their Success

Michael

“At Civicorps I found the stability I craved – plus a place where I could show off my talents and excel.”

When I first came to Civicorps and went through orientation, we did an activity where we had to talk about our feelings in front of everybody. I was so used to shutting my emotions off that I couldn’t handle it, so I said I wasn’t going to do it and walked out.

Later on I realized I might not have this opportunity again, so I came back the next day and asked for another chance. When they let me back into the program, I decided I was going to do things right this time around.

Growing up, I had a lot of instability in my life. I was just a kid, but I had to move from one relative’s house to another because I had nowhere to stay long-term. That sort of life makes you grow up real fast.

At Civicorps I finally found the stability I craved – plus a place where I could show off my talents and excel. I went from not feeling motivated to wake up early, to having perfect attendance, making Honor Society multiple terms, and being awarded Corpsmember of the Quarter.

When I cross that stage it’s going to feel great to finally hold my diploma, but I know I’m not finished yet. I’m going to college to study business and psychology. The future used to seem uncertain, but at Civicorps I found a sense of myself that I can take with me everywhere.


Xenia

“I can’t wait to walk the stage, receive my diploma and show my daughter, Gabriella, that there are no limits to what she can achieve once she sets her mind to it.”

My parents separated when I was younger and our family split apart. I remember spending a lot of time on my own growing up – feeling like if nobody else cared about whether I was in school, why should I?

I didn’t have the support of a family to keep me grounded when I was younger, but when my daughter came along, all of that changed. Suddenly I had a family – and a reason to go back to school. It was then that I decided that I would do whatever it takes to be the best mother and role model for her.

Being a part of the Civicorps family has been by far one of the best experiences of my life. Even though it’s not a typical high school, it gave me a glimpse of the high school experience that I missed out on. Plus the added benefits receiving counseling from the support staff and sharing classes with other moms who were also trying to make a change for their kids.

I’m proud to say that in the spring I will be a college student, and once I’m finished, a Registered Nurse. I can’t wait to walk the stage, receive my diploma and show my daughter, Gabriella, that there are no limits to what she can achieve once she sets her mind to it.


Aaron

“Civicorps promised the opportunity to find a career path while I was in school – and it lived up to that promise. Now I know I want to pursue a career in IT and computer engineering.”

My mom and her sisters immigrated by boat from Laos to the United States. I’m the first generation in my family to be born here. Although I have six other siblings, I’m the oldest boy, and my mom expected me to set an example for my siblings.

Growing up in Oakland it was a challenge to stay out of trouble. When everyone you know is living the street life, you begin to think that’s the only way to make a living. Seeing someone close to me go to prison and another person die as a result of that life, I decided to make a change.

Civicorps promised the opportunity to find a career path while I was in school – and it lived up to that promise. Now I know I want to pursue a career in IT and computer engineering. After I graduate, I plan on enrolling in a Hack the Hood program to learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and after that, college!

Out of seven kids, I will be the third person in the family to finish high school and the first boy to cross that graduation stage. My mom is a single parent and sacrificed so much for us. Now I feel like I can give something back to her by graduating and being successful in my career.


Mianonnie 

“Going through what I’ve been through and then completing this program has shown me how resilient I am.”

Growing up I lost a lot of people close to me due to violence. I don’t think there was a year that went by that I didn’t lose somebody. It made the thought of going to school seem pointless, so I just stopped going.

When I had my two baby boys, I suddenly had a renewed motivation to finish school. Once they were old enough to be in school during the day, I was determined to get my diploma so that I could provide a good life for them.

Everyone comes to Civicorps with their own challenges and I had mine, but the support at Civicorps is huge. The counseling I received from staff and teachers helped me get to where I wanted to be. Coming to Civicorps and completing this program after everything I’ve been through has shown me how resilient I am.

This experience inspired me to think about how I can help others in similar situations. After graduation, I want to take psychology classes at Merritt College and become a therapist. Everything I needed in my youth and everything I got at Civicorps – I want to be that resource for others.

Join us to cheer on all of our graduates as they cross the stage to receive their diplomas! 

Filed under: News, Student Spotlight

Taking a Look at Homelessness and Working in the Bay Area

A story about working and homelessness recently re-aired on KQED’s Forum radio show, featuring Civicorps graduate Daeshane.The story has been part of KQED’s ongoing coverage of the working homeless in the Bay Area – an issue that continues to grow as the cost of living rises.

Click here to listen to the story.

Another Civicorps student, Andrew, was also featured on KQED’s Newsroom in an episode discussing the same issue. In 2016-17, 38% of Civicorps students were experiencing homelessness while attending school and job training. Watch the clip from the Newsroom discussion below:

Filed under: News

Warriors' Season of Giving Brings Joy & Nutritious Food to Civicorps Families

little boysEvery holiday season, the Warriors select 5 families from the local East Bay Community for their Season of Giving program. This year, two Civicorps families attended and had the opportunity to learn about shopping for nutritious food with two very special Warriors guests and representatives from the nonprofit cooking school 18 Reasons.

The Warriors presented the families with a challenge: to plan a nutritious, well-balanced meal for the whole family and purchase all the ingredients with a budget of only $20.

The families were then paired with a teammate from the Warriors organization who would help them make healthy choices. Our families had no idea who they would be paired with, but were pleasantly surprised to find out it would be one very popular current player and a notable former player – check out the video below to find out who they were!

The Hernandez family ultimately won the challenge by coming the most under-budget with their chicken stir-fry meal plan. All families were gifted a $200 grocery gift card from the Warriors as well as a brand new stainless steel skillet and a chopping board. In the end, the families were grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime experience of shopping with the Warriors!

Check out video clips from the event below:

Photo Gallery

Filed under: News

Civicorps Apprenticeship Pathway a Mutual of America 2017 Community Partnership Award Finalist

Click here to read the published article.

AP Photo/Eric Risberg
AP Photo/Eric Risberg

NEW YORKNov. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Mutual of America announced today that the Teamster Union Apprenticeship Career Pathway was named a Merit Finalist award recipient of its 2017 Community Partnership Award competition.

The program was created by Civicorps, in partnership with Waste Management, Inc. Civicorps was founded 34 years ago to help men and women ages 18 to 26, who are disconnected from work and school, to earn their high-school diploma, gain job skills and enter family sustaining careers. In 2014, the Oakland City Council granted Civicorps Recycling and Waste Management a landmark garbage franchise agreement that includes a nonprofit job-training program.

The Pathway program helps young adults earn their high school diploma and, then, enter a recycling pre-apprenticeship training program. Once students earn their Class B driver’s license, they are eligible to enter a union apprenticeship at Waste Management and, after two years, to obtain a Teamster union truck driving job.

“Many of the young people who come to Civicorps have faced extreme barriers in their lives, including poverty, homelessness and incarceration, yet all have a determination to turn their lives around and succeed,” said Alan Lessik, Executive Director for Civicorps. “Our enterprise has quadrupled in size from servicing 273 small-business accounts to 1,039 in just three years, helping us to provide resilient youth an opportunity for real socioeconomic advancement.”

About the Mutual of America Community Partnership Award

The Mutual of America Community Partnership Award annually honors the outstanding contributions that nonprofit organizations, in partnership with public, private and other social sector organizations, make to society. Since 1996, the Community Partnership Award has recognized 220 partnerships from cities and towns across America. To watch videos of all of the national award-winning programs, visit the Mutual of America Foundation Community Partnership Award channel on YouTube.

About Mutual of America

Mutual of America specializes in providing retirement products and services to organizations and their employees, as well as to individuals. Since 1945, Mutual of America has remained committed to offering plan sponsors, plan participants and individuals carefully selected, quality products and services at a competitive price and the personal attention they need to help build and preserve assets for a financially secure future. For more information, visit mutualofamerica.com.

View original content with multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/teamster-union-apprenticeship-career-pathway-named-a-mutual-of-america-2017-community-partnership-award-winner-300558040.html

SOURCE Mutual of America Life Insurance Company

The Teamster Union Apprenticeship program was created by Civicorps, in partnership with Waste Management, Inc. Civicorps was founded 34 years ago to help men and women ages 18 to 26, who are disconnected from work and school, to earn their high-school diploma, gain job skills and enter family sustaining careers. In 2014, the Oakland City Council granted Civicorps Recycling and Waste Management a landmark garbage franchise agreement that includes a nonprofit job-training program.

Filed under: News

Civicorps Grad Featured in KQED Story on Working and Homelessness

“It’s priceless for me to know that people who were not my family – who didn’t know me from a can of paint – would take a chance on me and show me something different.”   – Daeshane

KQED invited Civicorps graduate Daeshane and current student Andrew to their studio to tell their stories on Forum and Newsroom as part of a special series on homelessness and working in the Bay Area. Click the button below to listen to the full story.

KQED Story

Filed under: News