Success Feels Good

No Limit For Talayah

At the African American Christian Foundation, our main goal is to offer job skills and training to out of school youth that will prepare them for employment. Most people don’t know that we do more than that; travel can be a hurdle, and barrier to employment for some to overcome, but we can help. Here’s how;

Talayah, a participant in our Working Mothers and Youth Employment & Entrepreneurship
program, received the training she needed at AACF including internships and temporary job placements. Both programs allowed her to gain the necessary work experience she needed, and after her completion in AACF’s programs she was able to obtain a job making parts for Nissan Motor Company. Talayah now has a job that she loves and it has enabled her to get her life back on track with some financial stability.

All Talayah needs now is a car to help her get to and from work, and since she is enrolled in our case management services, she was able to come back to AACF for help. Her case manager here will assist her in obtaining a permit and then a driver’s license so she can drive herself to and from work. Once she obtains her license, AACF will help her come up with the funds she needs to buy a newer car.

Talayah will be able to combine the money she saved from working with the supportive services assistance funds from AACF, and she will be on her way to buying a newer car and will be driving to her job in no time. The sky is the limit for Talayah’s future.

Gary’s Grand

Gary is a 19 year old who lives at home with his mom and brother. He tested low on reading and lacked work experience. He joined AACF’s youth program in 2015 because he wanted to develop his skills, find a job, and make a better life for himself. Gary’s obstacles were common ones for young people, including limited work history, lack of job skills and work ethics, all of which are barriers to employment. Upon completion of his career cluster assessment, we determined Gary’s skills were congruent with working in the business sector, so we placed Gary at State Farm Insurance Company for his paid work experience. Gary enrolled in the necessary classes, acquired his insurance license, and State Farm hired him as a full-time insurance agent making $12 per hour, plus a commission.

Update!: As of 9/3/2016 Gary was promoted to supervisor of the Vehicle Loans Department!

Keonte’s Way

College is getting harder to afford every day, cutting off an important path to a satisfying and rewarding career that also pays. But there are other ways to gain the skills and knowledge employers are looking for and even raise money and/or apply to scholarships to get the necessary education. The African American Christian Foundation (AACF) is there to help guide high school graduates down those paths, helping people in their communities find satisfying careers that also offer opportunities to make a good living.

“I was introduced to [AACF] after I graduated high school and was in need of a job,” said Keonte.

AACF was able to help Keonte find an internship in which he started getting work experience. He was able to acquire skills on the job and was offered a position as soon as he finished his internship. “It’s truly a blessing to be a part of such an organization,” said Keonte. “They’ve helped me through numerous obstacles in my life, which I’m thankful for.”

Since coming to AACF, Keonte has gone back to college and has plans to complete a 2-year Physical Therapy program. AACF took a young man from a low-income family with limited options and helped him build a promising future for himself.

“I thank the staff at AACF for being supportive and encouraging,” said Keonte. “Not only did AACF extend a hand monetarily, but spiritually as well. The staff and faculty here are both skillful and uplifting. Thank you all so very much!”

Kevyon’s Journey

It’s not easy to turn your life around, but AACF is here to help kids like Kevyon do just that. Growing up in a family of eight, Kevyon’s family was constantly struggling to pay the bills. Kevyon had gotten in trouble with the law and had been assigned a probation officer.

“My good friend, Reginald Bonner, told me about this place called AACF, which is located in Oak Park,” said Kevyon. “Reggie said he got his GED there, and I knew I needed to get my GED, so I asked Reggie for the address.”

When he enrolled in AACF’s program in December of 2015, he was assigned a caseworker named Victor, who remains a great role model to Kevyon to this day. “As we began to work, he asked what’s going on? I told him I needed my GED and was trying to fix my car,” said Kevyon. “Long story short, AACF helped me fix my car, graduate from high school, and also helped me get into college.”

Now Kevyon is enrolled in Triton college, which he will be attending in the fall. In July, he’ll be starting a job with Fallas, after he successfully finishes an internship placement with the worksite. “AACF is a great program for the youth to be all they can be in life,” said Kevyon. “I thank God for them, because they showed nothing but love every step.”

Kiara’s Courage

Kiara B. is also one of our youth participants in the Youth Employment Program through CCWP. Kiara was on the verge of being homeless when she came into our office for help. We placed her in the community garden project portion of her internship, where she had developed her teamwork and critical thinking skills. She excelled in her performance and was able to complete the program successfully. Once the program was over, we set Kiara up for a prescreening with AirServ Corp. through Albany Park Community Center. Kiara was one of the few chosen to move forward in the process and was then hired as a full-time Lobby Agent. She was very excited and thankful for her new position. We are so very proud of Kiara.

Shockwaves for Shaquille

Shaquille P. was one of our youth participants in the Youth Employment Program through CCWP. Shaquille was living from home to home when he initially came to our office requesting for help. He was initially placed at the Village of Broadview for his internship where he faced some challenges. After working a few weeks there, he was transferred to another worksite, CW Price, where his performance excelled enabling him to successfully complete the program. Once his internship had ended, he was offered an immediate position as a full-time Sales Associate and has been working there ever since. Now that he is financially stable, he plans to pursue his Associates degree in Criminal Justice at Triton College. Keep up the great job, Shaquille!

Michael’s Mojo

I want to thank you and all the staff at AACF for your support, both financially and emotionally. I was unemployed for almost two years starting may 16th 2011. AACF sponsored me, by giving me a grant that allowed me to attend the Illinois Manufacturing Foundations’ Building Maintenance program. I learned skills that I’m sure helped me to land the job at Nestle, USA. The Foundation helped me to get my “MOJO” back (confidence). Thank you for Inviting me to the Job club in December, because that’s where I GOT THE INFORMATION ABOUT NESTLE, USA ! A wise man once said that “half of life is just about SHOWING UP”, I’m Grateful for the invite and I’m glad I remembered the wise man’s quote, THANK YOU, AACF /CARA STAFFING YOU HAVE TRUELY BEEN A BLESSING. Sincerely, Michael C

Passion for Passimazoue

To Whom It May Concern, I, Passimazoue A., have been grateful for AACF in Oak Park, Illinois. For the few months that I have been working with AACF, they have done so much for me. Back in June I was struggling with unemployment and homelessness. They have managed to help me enhance my computer skills, assist me with transportation to get me to and from interviews, find me a secure job with great benefits, and also currently helping me fining a new apartment. Thank you AACF, I appreciate all of your help.

Linda’s Journey

Just wanted to let you know I was offered a job on Monday (October 24th) from Oak Park Hospital which I accepted.

I would just like to say thank you very much for all your help. I have learned so much since March 2011 when I first came to AACF. I will forever have these teaching tools available to me that you taught. You have been a great Job Development Manager. Since coming to AACF with your help I have learned a great many skills which includes; resume writing, cover letters, how to conduct myself in an interview, how to use a job script for myself, how to do a 30-second elevator speech which means introducing yourself and telling your job skills in 30 seconds. Also the workshops that you gave were very helpful also, and covered a lot of helpful resources.

Also by using the OPAC program I was able to keep abreast of my skills and to challenge myself more. I would also like to thank AACF for helping me in getting to and from my interviews, which included bus passes when needed. This organization was very helpful in my job search and I couldn’t have done it without AACF.

Also Adrienne I would like to say thank you for the many prayers and the faith you had in me, it really helped build my confidence. I remember once telling you I didn’t want to tell my family about any more job interviews because I thought I might jinx myself and you said that’s not true, that I just had to have faith I will never forget that, to me that was something very powerful. Again thanks so much for everything and I hope to keep in touch and let you know how things are going. Keep up the good work that you do.

Letter from Vidal Lozada

My name is Vidal Lozada and I am here to tell you how the AACF has changed my life. I am 50 years old and my last job was 2 1/2 years ago at Yellow Transportation. In July of 2010 I met a young lady by the name of Charise Peterson. Charisse is the case manager at AACF. I asked Charisse what I would have to do to go about furthering my education so that I can obtain a job. Charisse and I met with each other to discuss my options and come up with a plan. First, I took a placement test. I was unsure of how good my score would be due to my age, but Charisse reassured me that I would be fine and that I should just do my best and we would go from there. That made me feel good about myself and I had confidence that I would do well. Charisse and I met again when my test results came in to talk about what options would be best for me. After discussing a couple of options, we decided that the best thing for me to do in a short amount of time was to obtain a CDL license. I go approved to start the process on August 9th, and August 10th I met with a recruiter from Schneider. The gentleman’s name was Darrell G. Comer Darrell and I both worked at Yellow Freight Transportation as a dock manager. He explained to me that once I passed and go my CDL license we could then discuss me gaining employment with Schneider. I got my license on October 14th, 2010. I called Mr. Conner to tell him my good news. We are now discussing a start date for me. I am very thankful for the difference Charisse Peterson and the staff at AACF have made in my life. Thank you. Vidal Lozada

Herron’s Hope

“I am an ex-offender who encountered extreme complications in finding employment due to the circumstances of my back-ground. On far too many occasions, I had nearly given up hope of ever finding employment, though, never for a second, had I given up hope on my own abilities. Suddenly, just when there appeared no light at the end of the tunnel, Ms. Tami Yarbrough requested that I attend a job fair. I did and through it discovered a company that hired ex-felons. I have been working with this company ever since. Thank you very much Ms. Yarbrough and staff for your assistance and guidance.” Sincerely, Herron L.

Verdell’s Story

“I was out of work and away from home for over 18 years. Most of that time I was in prison and the only home that I had was Chicago.  My family couldn’t really help me, however; they did what they could.  Every thing changed when I met up with a friend who took me down to AACF, which changed my life around. They gave me the opportunity to find housing, a good job and I learned how to create a better resume. Today, I can say that because of AACF I have my own place, car, and a dog. I really want to thank AACF for all its help. I couldn’t have made it this far without you.” Sincerely, Verdell D.

Harry W.

Harry W. is a past AACF client. He graduated from our computer classes, and successfully landed a full-time, responsible position locally with help from AACF Job Specialist, Tami Yarbrough, after a long job search. Harry is a friendly, middle-aged man with a wonderful sense of humor who had been searching for an employer for some time before he came to AACF. He had been operating his own handyman service meanwhile and having a hard time finding employment as a Maintenance Engineer. He encountered several barriers, such as being an older worker, lack of computer skills and being out of the workface for an excessive length of time. Harry now has successfully worked through his 90-day probation period working full-time as Maintenance Engineer #2 for a beautiful, large, 300 room hotel in Lombard. He is extremely happy with his position and with his co-workers and superiors.

Letter from Maureen

“I became unemployed on February 10, 2005,” and went immediately to the Maywood IETC office for job search assistance. Unfortunately, after three months of searching on my own I was still unemployed and had had no assistance from other employment search sources. In April, I enrolled in the computer classes offered by AACF in Oak Park and noted that “they seemed to be on top of things.” “Since I was desperate, I requested that AACF staff assist me with my job search efforts. AACF offered to help me, even though they did not have to help me. “Their job developer assisted me with my resume, in setting up an email account, and then followed through with a list of job opportunities, both by email and by phone. The job developer’s prompt and efficient service helped me to get a job offer right away, and I began working on August 2nd. AACF is a very impressive organization.” - Thank you, Maureen C.-B.

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