Age: 18
Position: Busser/Runner
Employer: Grand Lux Cafe

Cruz has recently graduated as the 2018 Class Valedictorian from Gage Park High School.

In his academic career he has always been a frontrunner for advocacy for others as he campaigned with organizations like Student With Voices. He fully understands the dynamics of the equity theory alongside those that can help with putting policies in play with efforts to assist young adults that need better opportunities as he presented the Community Leader Award to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky in April 2018.

But when Cruz decided that he wanted to do more than some “odd jobs” for financial self-sufficiency while making his plans to transitioning to college-he had to become his own self advocate.

He reached out to his YJC Career Advisor that assisted him while he attended Gage Park to ask if he was still eligible for assistance with finding employment and learned he was through their OSY Program.

Finally, after some resume review and a job lead from YJC’s Job Developer, Cruz attended a hiring event where he states, “There was plenty of people. But I went in, I got interviewed. They hurried me to another room to fill an online application. After which I was told to come back tomorrow with a State ID and my Social.”

Cruz is currently working as a Busser/Runner at the Grand Lux Café in downtown Chicago where he says, “Work is great! I am very happy here. I will be switching to a line cook by end of August! Thank you for the opportunity!”

Keep up the great work, Cruz!