BBVA VolunteersWithin the past few weeks we have been spoiled by generous corporate volunteers from BBVA, Chevron, and Wells Fargo. Volunteers held mock interviews with our Administrative Careers Training program interns, helping our interns gain real-life interview experience and providing individualized feedback. This experience is invaluable since our interns are currently interviewing as part of their job searches.

Renee ReidWe are pleased to welcome our newest board member, Renee Reid!

Renee Reid is a Staff UX Design Researcher at LinkedIn with over 20 years of professional experience in various roles including Project Management, Customer Experience, Sales and User Experience. She is also the LinkedIn Campus Lead for the Black Inclusion Group BIG (an Employee Resource group (ERG), a Boys and Girls Club mentor, as well as a Professional Mentor with TechWomen, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs created by the Obama Administration.

"My whole family is stronger and happier."

Laura and family

Laura Alvarez and her husband, Alvino, thought that they had set the right course for their lives together raising a family. Laura was working full-time in the mortgage industry and her husband was thriving in his construction work-and then the economic crisis hit. Laura was able to string together a couple positions with the help of staffing agencies, but by 2010, she was laid off again and supporting her family on her unemployment.

"My experience was in the fields hit hardest by the crisis, and I couldn't find a job anywhere. With two very young kids at home and childcare so expensive, we decided it was best for me to stay home with them," Laura shares.

Gala 2020 logo We will be celebrating 20 Years of Roaring Success at the Opportunity Junction Imagine Gala held on Saturday April 25th 2020 at the Diablo Country Club! Roaring 20's attire is encouraged but not required.

Piggy bankWe are proud and grateful to announce the following new grants and funding partnerships:

Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative: The Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative, a partnership of the East Bay Community Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Northern California Grantmakers, awarded a one-time grant to support Census 2020 outreach and education efforts in East Contra Costa County, focusing on residents who are low-income, lack access to technology, lack the skills to complete on-line Census 2020 forms, and/or have limited English proficiency.

typing on a laptop Opportunity Junction is now helping low-income households sign up for low-cost home internet, starting as low as $10 per month. Eligible households who sign up for home internet will receive a $5 gift card to Target, Starbucks, or Walmart.

Graduates of Class 59 Our Administrative Career Training class members finished their training program and have been promoted to start their internship in the office! Our fifteen graduates celebrated their graduation on September 20th at the El Campanil Theatre, where they shared their individual stories. They were joined by Special Guest Speaker Holland White of the Pittsburg City Council (and of the office of Supervisor Federal Glover).

We are currently recruiting for our next class which starts on September 30th 2019. To learn more about our Administrative Career Training program, visit our website at: https://opportunityjunction.org/need-a-job/jtpp or call 925.776.1133.

Road mapMarissa (18) started off as a Los Medanos College student in our Road Map program but due to the difficulty balancing school and home, eventually dropped her classes. In order to get by, she needed a job but didn't have "real work experience." With the help of Opportunity Junction's career counselors, Marissa was placed in a job that she loves as a server at The Waterford at Rossmoor. She is an excellent employee, and the Waterford loves having her on their team. Marissa is now joining Opportunity Junction's Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training program to fulfill her goals of entering the healthcare field.

"I am hopeful about what the future holds."

Jackie and Family

Jackie learned early that life doesn't always go as planned. She stepped into the parent role for her six siblings when no one else could and spent years raising them. When she married her husband, Eric, starting a family of her own was never a priority. "My husband and I were both very happy working hard and spoiling our nieces and nephews whenever possible," she shares.

After 17 years working for the same grocery company, however, Jackie was called upon again to serve in the parent role for a family member who was entering foster care. "When the opportunity arose to care for our son, Lawrence, it was a no-brainer. I happily left my job of 17 years to commit to being a new mom.

Year in Review Dear Opportunity Junction Community,

Happy New Fiscal Year! For financial reporting, organizational planning, and program outcomes, we run on a July 1 through June 30 fiscal year, and this has been a very full year. Thanks to your support, we were able to serve (and place into employment) more local residents than ever before while launching an important new healthcare career program.

Save the Date Opportunity Junction's Imagine Gala will be held on Saturday April 25th 2020 at the Diablo Country Club! This gala will be very special because Opportunity Junction will be celebrating 20 years of transforming lives of low-income families in Contra Costa County