Twelve happy graduates of the Job Training and Placement Program celebrated the season with their own graduation ceremony on May 23 at El Campanil Theater in Antioch. Each graduate shared their personal story about how the program changed their hopes for the future.
More than 160 supporters gathered at Diablo County Club on April 6 for an upbeat night of festivities hosted by platinum sponsor Seeno Homes. With support of sponsors, volunteers, board members, and guests, our 2019 Imagine Gala - Reach for the Stars was a major success, raising $120,000 for programs, supplies, and student work experience.
The theme of the night - Reach for the Stars - embodied our event's focus on celebrating the successes of our participants who dare to Reach for the Stars. And that's not all. We also celebrated the Opportunity Junction community. Whether sponsor, guest, employer, donor, volunteer, staff, or alum, your involvement with Opportunity Junction inspires us to keep reaching for the stars, to keep launching careers that can break the cycle of poverty.
An aging population brings with it a greater need for healthcare services. With an increasing number of healthcare jobs, there is an opportunity for job seekers to enter the field earning a higher wage and accessing a pathway to greater economic success! This starts with a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Training Program as a first step in creating a healthcare career pathway.
"I feel so much better and happier now!"
Rachel was unclear about her future and her career path before coming to Opportunity Junction's administrative training program. She had struggled in high school and through a few courses in community college, and she realized that a traditional learning environment was not for her.
"With my new career path, I know that my daughter will have a better life. I am excited about my future, and I feel so much better and happier now. I will be debt free in a month-I've already paid off two credit cards! We are saving to buy a house and we are growing our family with my second baby due in July. Where you work definitely has an impact on everyday life, and I am now living the life I always wanted."
"It took me six months to find my last job, in 2015, and the process of applying for a job has changed significantly. During those six months I did not get a single response for an interview, but when I started working with Opportunity Junction's career services, things improved almost immediately."
"Opportunity Junction will always hold a piece of my heart. I was homeless, living in poverty, and didn't have enough to eat. I believed in the people at OJ who believed in me until I was able to believe in myself. I know the staff will always support me because they got me through the hardest time of my life."
"It was amazing to participate in this program where everyone's goal was to help me succeed! I felt completely supported, uplifted, and valued. I have gained so much more than computer and administrative skills. LifeSkills class helped my confidence soar, and I was able to find strength in myself. Thanks to the support of everyone at OJ, I am finally in a position and in a career I have been dreaming about. I will be forever thankful for my experience there. I feel accomplished and am a good role model for my daughter." Read Kiana's story...
When Jacqueline Estrada walked through the doors at Opportunity Junction in September of 2011, unemployment in Antioch was still at a near record high. Jacqueline, who had held clerical positions in medical offices in the past, had been unemployed for two years. She was desperate and feared the gap in employment would keep her permanently unemployed. "I am grateful that Opportunity Junction was there to help when I needed it most." Read her story...