As a single parent of two, Ciera found herself in need of a job where she could balance being a supportive mother and making sure she had a job that supplied her financial needs. She previously had a job as a CPR, First Aid and AED trainer only for a few months at a time, so she was seeking something that provided her longer commitment and sustainability.
Ciera was referred to PA CareerLink® Suburban Station, operated by JEVS Human Services, through welfare benefits and other JEVS instructors. This program allowed her to become more resourceful as she tackled perfecting her resume, design an extensive cover letter and participate in mock interviewing. Ciera met with her workforce advisor and designed a successful plan that highlighted her strengths and weaknesses as a potential candidate. She utilized the job club and applied to jobs while tracking each one on a job search log. She met with her advisor in a one-on-one setting to also make sure her more valued applications were completed thoroughly. She utilized our career wardrobe to also obtain an interviewing outfit. Ciera also participated in the various workshops offered and other services that allowed her to get ahead in the job market.
With CareerLink, she felt the care from her instructors and case managers. She could see that this program had a goal for her and wanted to find her a job that gave her everything she wanted and needed for her and her family, even after she landed a job.
“They made sure that I found a job, but also made sure my financial needs were being met and they continued with check ins and made sure I was on the right track,” she said.
Ciera knew that she needed a job that worked well with her family’s schedules. When she was offered to be a special education teacher’s aide, for the Philadelphia School District, she was more than happy to take it. This allowed for her to go to work, while her kids were in school and allowed for them all to come home around the same time. She was hired in October 2019 and has been there ever since.
Ciera’s children are her truest inspiration. Her daughter, who has suffered with eczema since she was 2 years old, sparked Ciera an interest in figuring out a way to make all-natural soaps that would alleviate this skin disease.
“My daughter has been inspiring me, and she is exhausted and still having many challenges, but figuring out what works for her and moving into natural solutions has helped a lot,” she said.
Making these natural soaps for her daughter is what sparked an idea for Ciera to start selling these natural soaps to other people with the same struggles and challenges. So far, she has sold these products to close family and friends but is hoping to expand this business in the future, as she plans to get a degree in Business through JEVS SNHU Program.
“I am hoping that this can benefit my whole family,” she said.
Ciera plans to study business and hopes that this will lead to bigger opportunities to flourish her small business.
The individuals and resources that referred Ciera to CareerLink, also shared information about JEVS’s college degree program to her. They aided in her application process and scheduling an interview, but her truest help in seeking a degree was the search for a solution to her daughter’s needs.
By utilizing these programs and services that JEVS provides she is able to move forward with her career and education feeling confident and prepared.
by Madison Baer, JEVS intern & senior communications major at La Salle University