When Geneva enrolled in the AACF/CYEP youth program in February, 2017, she faced serious adversities and barriers to success that are common among the youth population. She was homeless, lacked skills, had a limited work history, faced economic hardship and endured pain while garnering courage to keep going after losing her mom. Geneva’s passion for music inspired her, she was full of hope believing that if she could acquire job skills she would be able to start a new career, find an apartment and make positive changes in her life including a future in the music business. She successfully completed the job readiness workshop and entrepreneur program with the workshop facilitator at AACF. Geneva’s case manager completed a plan with her that included educational and employment goals based on her skills and interest which provided a path for Geneva’s career. Her case manager placed her in the AACF/CYEP internship program at Fallas Retail Store to build her work history, increase her customer service skills and to develop work ethics.

Geneva worked diligently, embraced opportunity, and it was apparent she was becoming more confident and skillful. In fact, Geneva stated that some of her peers planned to utilize program support to incorporate instant gratification from problematic circumstances in their lives. However, she was determined to focus on her needs and take advantage of opportunities available through the program to assist her in obtaining short-term sustainable career goals. Geneva discussed school options with her case manager and decided to become a security guard. Her case manager enrolled her in the Chicagoland Retail Sector Security Training in April, 2017, while she continued working. Geneva also received driving lessons at AACF, transportation services, she finished security training and earned her PERC card. Fallas offered her a position, but she declined in order to position herself for a better opportunity. She prevailed, Allied Security hired her in July, 2017. During a recent interview Geneva stated that she is happy, because she has a full-time position, she is up for a supervisory promotion, she purchased a car and has an apartment.  She stated that connecting with the AACF/CYEP youth program assisted her in accomplishing her goals and to make positive changes in her life. Posted March 2018

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