Marina Orozco has experienced life at Civicorps from lots of different angles.
She enrolled as a full time student on March 4, 2020 – just 2 weeks before Alameda County went into its first Shelter in Place. Six months later, she started a paid internship at our Job Training Center (JTC) while going to school part time. She was part of the crew driving to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley every day to distribute groceries to families in need. When our Food Intern went on temporary leave, Marina stepped up to cover for her. And when our Academy Intern left for college, she was tapped to fill in for him.
Did we mention she’s still working part time at the JTC on the CalTrans crew, AND going to school to earn her high school diploma? And she’s getting almost all A’s and earning Hardest Hitter class awards despite the challenges of learning remotely through Distance Learning! Marina’s drive to succeed is so powerful, she juggles all of these responsibilities while single parenting 4 children under the age of 9.
“If you take advantage of the opportunities at Civicorps in the right way,” says Marina, “you can definitely get somewhere.”
Marina has nothing but positive words about the staff at Civicorps and the support she has received since she arrived. Everyone has been warm and welcoming, and folks are always ready to teach her something new and help one another. But Marina reserves her highest praise for her JTC Supervisor, Marisela Saeteurn, with whom she has bonded deeply.
“Marisela is like a mother hen” gushes Marina. “She teaches the right way to do everything. She makes it fun even though she’s strict. She says ‘get the job done the way I teach you, and we’ll have a good day’; most of our days at JTC are good days.” Marina loves her time at our Academy (where she earned her Class C learner’s permit recently through Avery’s Driver’s Ed Seminar), and with Marisela’s crew working for CalTrans. After all, as she puts it, she gets to switch off between dressing like “herself” and wearing her steel toed boots!
The day we spoke was a hugely important day for Marina – she had just discharged from parole, after having been on either probation or parole for 15 years. “I’m finally done with the system,” she glows, “but I don’t think I would have done it if I wouldn’t have enrolled here, because Civicorps has taught me to be responsible, have great communication, and create safe boundaries. Taught me to be smart in different ways – I’m really happy.” “Civicorps is like home to me,” she continues, “I don’t ever want to find another job.”
Congratulations Marina! We’re not only proud of you, but we stand in awe of your accomplishments.
We are so excited to see you on your way to earning your High School Diploma and your Driver’s License this coming year. Even if you do find another job outside Civicorps someday, your Civicorps family will always be here for you.