Sharnise, a participant at LA:RISE partner Homeboy Industries, recently completed certification as a nursing assistant

LA:RISE Participant Earns Nursing Assistant Certificate and Looks Ahead

“Don’t let barriers hold you back from succeeding,” said Sharnise, a participant at LA:RISE partner Homeboy Industries who was recently certified as a nursing assistant. “In life if you mess up, you still have a chance to fix your mistakes.”

With the help of Homeboy Industries, Sharnise is striving to live out that ethos and set an example for her children. Prior to joining Homeboy Sharnise spent time in jail and faced a challenging background. Scared to pursue her education, she felt stuck in life and unable to do what she needed to succeed. After learning about Homeboy Industries while serving time, Sharnise decided to join the program to work on her job skills.

Sharnise worked on improving her communication skills, staying focused, and listening to authority figures. In addition to gaining customer service skills and on-the-job experience at Homeboy Bakery, Sharnise is no longer hindered by her past. She now has her sights set on the future and hopes to get a job as a nursing assistant.

“Homeboy prepared me to not be afraid of anything,” Sharnise said. “I’ve learned to let my past go, to accept people for who they are, and to open up to people. I’ve learned to move on.”

Stephany, a participant at LA:RISE partner Chrysalis
Stephany, a participant at LA:RISE partner Chrysalis, 'rings the bell' after completing a job readiness program and securing a full time job

LA:RISE Participant Finds Full Time Work, Volunteers to Help Homeless

Eager to join the workforce after facing several barriers to employment, including chronic homelessness, Stephany enrolled in LA:RISE and joined Chrysalis.

After completing a job readiness program, she was referred to Chrysalis’ Staffing Agency and quickly hired as an e-commerce associate at Goodwill. Five months later, Stephany secured a full-time job.

Stephany has continued to check in with her employment specialist at Chrysalis by updating her resume with new work experience, communicating her progress in driving school, and working on computer skills. Outside of work, Stephany volunteers to support individuals facing homelessness and has a long-term goal opening a homeless shelter for youth.

LA:RISE – A social enterprise solution to help join the workforce

EWDD is a leadership team partner of LA:RISE, an innovative, collaborative partnership that unites the City and County of Los Angeles’ Workforce Development System (WDS) with non-profit social enterprises and for-profit employers to help men and women with high barriers to employment get good jobs and stay employed. The City’s WorkSource Centers and LA:RISE prioritize individuals recently released from prison, the unsheltered or those at risk of homelessness and youth ages 18-24 who are neither in school or working. After working in a transitional job at a social enterprise and leveraging training and services from the WorkSource Center, LA:RISE participants are placed at jobs in the private sector, in public-sector jobs in the City of LA, or in vocational training programs.

Learn more about the other employment programs and benefits offered through EWDD Employment Services and WorkSource Centers.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of April 8, 2019. Read this issue and more.