Position: Bagger
Employer: Mariano's
Employed since: March 2016

Cameron first visited Youth Job Center at the end of January 2016. She had been looking for a job since she graduated from Douglas High School in June of 2015. Cameron did not have a lot of work experience. She had participated in One Summer Chicago and worked at a daycare but had struggled to find employment since that opportunity ended. Cameron was interested in working in retail because because she loves to help others but recognized that her shy demeanor may get in the way of achieving her goal. She was also interested in continuing her education and pursuing a career in healthcare.

YJC's Job-Readiness Training was not the most comfortable experience for Cameron. The public speaking exercises and mock interview sessions challenged her to come out of her shell. However, Cameron always maintained a positive attitude and was never once seen without a smile on her face. She recognized that getting outside of her comfort zone would help her with her employment goals.

After completing Job-Readiness Training, Cameron enrolled in YJC's Reading and Math classes, provided in partnership with Oakton Community College and started meeting regularly with her career advisor. They focused on interview skills and helping Cameron become more comfortable speaking in front of new people. She was coached to slow down when she answered questions and speak louder so she could be more easily understood, but her answers were always terrific and her career advisor knew that her smile would go a long way in convincing an employer that she would be a strong candidate in a customer service role.

In March, Cameron had an interview with Mariano's and was offered a position there. Cameron admits that her favorite part of working is getting paid, but she also enjoys learning to be more open, because she is naturally shy. She likes that work keeps her busy. Cameron is also working on pursuing higher education at Malcolm X College, where she should be attending orientation at the end of the summer. Cameron says the YJC has helped her not only find a job, but also to stay focused and get ready for school. Keep up the great work, Cameron!