From Homeless to Hopeful

Frank KolsutIt's been almost a month since Frank Kolsut was hired as a permanent employee with Corteva Agriscience in a career he could never have envisioned for himself.

It's been nearly two years since he completed the administrative training program and took an entry level, temporary position with a company he never thought he'd work for

And it's been four years since Frank was living on the streets of San Francisco homeless, addicted, and near death from pneumonia and a dangerous blood clot.

Giving Tuesday What is #GivingTuesday? #GivingTuesday refers to the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a movement to create an international day of charitable giving during the holiday season.

Last year we were able to serve 1,580 individuals (more than ever before) thanks to the generosity of our supporters. By donating this #GivingTuesday you #GiveOpportunity to motivated job seekers looking to change the trajectory of their lives.

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

Anonymous Donor/Silicon Valley Community Foundation: An anonymous donor provided a $50,000 unrestricted grant to Opportunity Junction from an advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Silicon Valley Community Foundation partners with donors in their shared mission to strengthen the common good, improve quality of life and address the most challenging problems.

Annual Report Front CoverThis past year, you were an important part of helping low-income job seekers overcome barriers and gain the skills and confidence to launch a career. Altogether, we provided 1,580 with training, counseling, and job placement services. Thank you for your generosity and partnership.

Please click the link to see our FY18-19 Annual Report for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2019. We are very proud of the work our team did this year to help the communities of East Contra Costa and beyond. We hope that in reviewing the report you will experience the pride and satisfaction that we do, knowing that together we made a difference in our community.

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.