Vickie started over and gained a new career

Vickie at work Vickie Ore started over in her career after nearly 20 years in the grocery industry the only way she knew how: by jumping in head first. “I was petrified to leave what I knew so well, but I also believed this was my opportunity to learn something new and launch my new career,” she shares.

When a friend told her about Opportunity Junction’s Administrative Careers Training program, she applied and began right away That was February, 2020. Vickie had no idea at the time that her leap of faith into change would be exacerbated by the pandemic and the shutdown that followed.

“When I started training, I knew nothing about computers. Half way through training, I had to learn how to be a remote student and learn through Zoom. Our class stuck together and made it through thanks to the patience of our instructor, Alana. Now, I am shocked at what I know how to do!”

Vickie learned so much about computers in her training that she was selected as a teaching assistant for her paid work experience component of the program. “I went from not knowing how to turn on a computer to teaching! It felt amazing to be able to share some of what I learned with a new class of students.”

Vickie and teamWhen Vickie’s work experience came to an end in late August, the pandemic world was a strange place. Many businesses were still hunkering down in work-from-home settings and not hiring yet. Rather than let her skills lapse, Vickie continued to volunteer for OJ and kept serving as a teaching assistant for the next class Just a few months later, OJ staff recommended Vickie for a temporary position with our partner organization, SHELTER Inc. Vickie loved the work and they loved her; when another, permanent role opened, Vickie got it!

“I love my job! I really do! I get to help other people find stable housing in a job that is hard work and keeps me busy. Thanks to OJ, I am in a dream non-profit career. I never gave up. I set my goals and I fought for it. I am thankful for this opportunity.”