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Making Hope Happen for Joe

Joseph Mullen was determined to find work, but due to a childhood head injury he needed additional support. The day before his 25th birthday Joe enrolled in the JEVS Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC) program.

Opportunity YOUth Collaborative (OYC) offers job training, high school equivalency test preparation, and job placement assistance for young adults (18–24) in New Jersey who are interested in a career in Atlantic County’s booming hospitality business sector.

Joe completed the OYC coursework and got certified in ServSAFE and TIPS, as well as American Hotel and Lodging certification in Food Prep at Stockton University.  Joe also completed community service at Sister Jean’s Kitchen and AtlantiCare. He was a natural in the kitchen environment.

Now equipped to meet his goal of employment, Joe went on interview after interview, each time getting better and more comfortable talking about why he should be hired. “With Joe’s determination and growth since enrolling in the program, we knew he would be successful,” says OYC director Latoyra Smith.

Determined to land a job, Joe accepted a paid internship at Andre’s Wine Bar and Grill in Brigantine, NJ, where he had tried to get hired three years prior. Excited by the opportunity, Joe completed the internship in 3 weeks, putting in 20 hours per week.

Next came the moment he was hoping for: Joe was hired part-time at Andre’s. Thanks to Joe’s determination and willingness to participate in training with OYC, he now has the job he had long wanted.


Note: During Joe’s time at OYC, tragedy struck his family. His older brother Raymond was brutally attacked and spent several months in the hospital. The family has a GoFundMe page where donations are welcome: https://www.gofundme.com/f/7yn7z-everyone-loves-raymond

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