After completing the Administrative Careers Training program, Nancy Luna Gonzalez, Opportunity Junction alumna, went on to work at an optometry office. She soon fell in love with her new job and looks forward to growing her exciting career.

Opportunity Junction's pivot during the pandemic was just what Nancy needed to launch her administrative career.

Nancy followed a traditional path through high school and into her first retail job. She expected to attend the local community college, graduate, and find a career. She soon realized that the traditional college format was not working for her. Just as she was figuring out her next steps, everything changed as the pandemic swept the world.

"I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do next. My job ended when the stores closed, and there didn't seem to be any point in looking for another retail job. My plans were derailed, and I felt myself withdrawing from people and the world around me," Nancy shares.

Nancy had heard about Opportunity Junction and the Administrative Careers Training program when she was still in community college. "The timing wasn't right when I first heard about the program. I didn't have a license, and transportation was always really hard. This time, I was excited to hear that the training was remote. It was even better that I would be issued the computer I needed to take the class."

The remote training opportunity also helped with Nancy's building sense of isolation. "I started the program very shy. As it went on, I began to open up more and more and build friendships with the people in my class. The training and the experience built my confidence so that I was ready for a new career."

During the paid work experience component of the training, Nancy applied for a position at an optometry office. "I never saw myself in that kind of work before, but after the working interview, I fell in love with the position. I would be in a whole new career field, and the staff was so nice and friendly. It felt like the right move for me."

A year after starting the administrative training program, Nancy keeps moving forward. She has already earned a raise and is working more hours with the optometrist. In addition, Nancy received her driver's license and was recently married!

"Without Opportunity Junction, I don't know where I'd be. I am so thankful for OJ's help getting me to where I am now. I have a lot of plans for my future, and I am eager to see what's next!"