When Arkeyillia gave birth to her son, Tishon Rocquemore, Jr. (TJ, as known by friends and family), at age 19 she had been working at Food 4 Less and struggling to make ends meet. She learned about the programs at AACF from her boyfriend and son’s father, Tishon Rocquemore (Tishon), who was enrolled in AACF’s CDL training program. She enrolled in AACF’s workforce development program and received her CNA license. She was considering pursuing her EMT license at the organization when she secured a position as a security guard with the internationally based company, Securitas, through AACF’s staffing assistance. Today AACF is proud to congratulate Arkeyillia on being named Employee of the Month after just two months with Securitas and for being on the fast track to a supervisor position within the company.

Living on Chicago’s West Side can be very challenging. One day, while standing on the side of their house, Tishon was shot, by simply being at home when gang crossfire occurred. Arkeyillia is currently working hard to ensure that her family is provided for as Tishon recovers from the gunshot wound. Since that event they have created ways to help each other to pursue the goals they set, one of which is a goal sheet in which they write down their ideas and discuss how to achieve them. One of these goals it to
relocate her family to a safer neighborhood, hopefully near a City College where she can pursue an education in nursing and business management. She wants to continue in nursing. She is very interested in financial planning and in setting goals for her family.

*”The Program helped me learn responsibility and helped me to follow a path as a new mom; to acquire education, which has opened up a lot of doors for us.” * - Arkeyillia speaking about herself and her family

Arkeyillia is clear on the fact that earning Employee of the Month after just a short period of time is due to her dedication to working there: responsibility in always being on time and coming in when being called to, off schedule, and contributing to her work facility by relaying her ideas for improvements to her supervisor.

Arkeyillia expressed gratitude for receiving financial support from AACF, assistance which helped her to pay her rent and utility bills during a crucial period in her early time as a new mom and also for her education.

*”The Program has been a lot of help for a lot of people, for schooling, employment, and financial support.” *

She now gives back to AACF by referring friends who may benefit from the programs; as well as having given cross referrals, connecting AACF with other assistance programs for people who may be experiencing the life challenge of homelessness or being near-homeless.

When asked what advice she would give to anyone who may be struggling, Arkeyillia quickly offered up the following:

*”Don’t be afraid to speak up, share your ideas, ask for help. I know a lot of people who are going through a lot of challenges because they don’t know how to ask for help.”*

Areyillia is currently working as a CNA and pursuing the nursing program at Malcome X College.

We are proud of Areyillia for her hard work and willingness to reach out - and also  give back.

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