A Success Story: Adriana Solorio

Adriana was born in Santa Rosa, California, and has one older brother, so she is the youngest in her family. Adriana has had a somewhat difficult family life because her mother became the sole provider for her family when Adriana’s father left. These were difficult moments for her as a child, but even though she faced adversity in her family structure, Adriana never gave up on the dream of continuing her education. Adriana’s mother has always worked hard to see her continue in school and better her life through education. Her mother wants her daughter to have a better paying job and not work under the hot sun, picking, tying, and cleaning the grapes as she has done all her life. Adriana’s mother has high hopes for Adriana and that is why she came to this country to better her future and her children’s future.

When Adriana thinks of her working mother, the emotions come, but she immediately regains her composure and realizes how far she has come from being that introverted and shy girl. Adriana first heard about the program through her mother and stepfather. She remembers her mother getting home from visiting the Santa Rosa main office to inquire about California Human Development’s (CHD) programs, and as they say, “mothers know best”. Her mother told her about CHD’s Sr. Case Manager Lorena Sotelo, and how she had programs called Work Experience (WEX). She told Adriana to call and find out if she could get into one of the programs.

Adriana like most teenagers her age, just put it off day after day, until one day, Sr. Case Manager called her. Lorena insisted on her coming to the office to talk about the programs. When Adriana arrived, she did not know what to expect, since she was not really motivated, but then when she heard about working as an Immigration Assistant her curiosity was triggered. The program gave her a sense of excitement and she wanted to learn more. She was informed about the work that Immigration & Citizenship program provides to the community, and she was in awe. From that point on Adriana was adamant about joining CHD.

We performed an intake and Adriana was found eligible for the WIOA 167 program. She qualified by being a dependent of a Farmworker. When she started Adriana was very introverted and shy, she had some fear of interacting with clients, and her phone skills needed to improve. Day by day Adriana was becoming better at preparing forms for DACA, Citizenship, and Permanent Residency.

She also gained skills in copying, faxing, filing, and various office work duties. By the second month of Adriana performing her job, she was noticed by her co-workers and supervisor as a brilliant young lady with a great future.

Adriana’s demeanor and flexibility in her job assignments were excellent. She started building her resume and cover letter to apply to various positions that opened at Job Link. One position was for a Navigator and another position was for Case Management at the Healdsburg Day Labor Center. Adriana was still not very used to interviewing techniques, but we worked with her until she became more relaxed. Adriana has learned how to present herself not only verbally, but also as to her dress etiquette.

Adriana was traveling from Cloverdale to Santa Rosa, and gas expenses began to be a burden, so CHD was able to assist her with support services for gas expenses in the amount of $100. Adriana has always had a responsible character and she is also very trustworthy and honest. This is a great asset to have in an environment in which confidentiality is a must for our programs.

When her WEX time was getting close to the end of her term, Adriana was offered a full-time job at CHD in the Immigration & Citizenship Department in our Santa Rosa Headquarters. Adriana has now gone from part-time as a WEX to a full-time position as a Case Manager, Adriana also has full benefits. Adriana in cooperation with CHD is continuing her education and only expects good things by working at CHD. One day she hopes to earn a Master’s Degree in Psychology with a focus on Postpartum. Her heart and desire were to be a member of this great organization that has helped her so much, but also because she finds assisting others rewarding.

Adriana wants to pay it forward and what better way to do this than working with an organization that cares about its employees and their future. We at California Human Development are very proud to be part of Adriana’s growth. We know that her future is just starting and that she will be very successful in all that she does toward becoming self-reliant and economically independent.

 

 

Story Written by: Lorena Sotelo, WFD& FWS Senior Case Manager

Customer Service

One year ago, I arrived at CHD and the first person I encountered was Debbie Guerrero, Receptionist at SRHQ, who gave me a very gracious and warm welcome. That memory will stay with me. I felt recognized. I felt welcome. Now an HR Assistant, Debbie and Paula Boris, HR Representative, provide that same daily warm welcome to their colleagues and to clients who walk to and through our door. That is quite a wonderful way to start each day. The important thing is to pass it on.
Do we do that every day with each person who walks through our doors? Do we recognize them? Do we greet them? Do we offer to help? Do we encourage them to speak because we are good at listening?
How about people who call us or send us emails? Do we take their calls and provide them our time? Do we check our emails reasonably often (but not excessively) and respond in a timely manner?
Last week I was in Stockton and stopped briefly at our Lodi office. When asking for Janet Vargas, Center Manager, I was informed that she was out in the parking lot helping with the food bank distribution to clients. Heading out to the truck I was greeted by Rehana Zaman, Case Manager, who was also busy assisting clients but also took the time to speak to me. They weren’t waiting for clients to walk through the doors. They were already meeting them upon arrival in the parking lot.
When I visit our offices, I enjoy observing my colleagues helping people. My colleague Lorena Lopez, Senior Case Manager, one day did not immediately answer the front door of her Dixon office. I know how Lorena is typically trying to help three people at the same time while making each feel that she or he is the center of attention. She did not keep me waiting for long and the important thing is that she was focused on the people whom she was serving.
A month ago, Paul Castro, Division Director, and I drove to Tulelake to visit farmworkers who have a scarcity of local resources and services. Tulelake is a very long drive from almost anywhere but our Board Chair, Miguel Mejia, and Board Member, Amber Yearton, met us there for a small community event. That was on a Saturday yet as she does on a weekly basis, our colleague Maria Robey, Case Manager, made that drive from Redding. Maria says it is important to visit regularly so that residents can get to know her and trust her. She has services to offer, and she does it with great grace.
I like to imagine that each of us consciously and intentionally thinks about and commits to providing good customer service to everyone we encounter every day. CHD’s Vision, Mission, and Values are not mere words. We provide Service with Respect, Service with Integrity, Service with Honesty, and Service with Humility. We should and must focus on customer service…and everyone is a customer.

Congressman Garamendi visits our ASET Center

Congressman John Garamendi along with his staff and other elected officials joined our CHD staff members at the Woodland Anthony Soto Employment Training (ASET) Center this past August. Our CHD Board Members, the Yolo County Office of Education,  the Yolo County Workforce Development Board, and CHD Staff, joined the visit to discuss the partnership between these entities that brought training opportunities to Yolo County. The business infrastructure was discussed and how CHD’s vocational training courses will assist with this venture. 

Having the Congressman interact with the welding and truck driving students enabled him to see first-hand how Workforce Development funds support putting the community back to work, provides employers with skilled workers, and shows a return on investment. It also allows for the community, such as the students, to express their needs and show enthusiasm for the training they are currently participating in. 

The Congressman noted that back when Workforce Development first came into play, the goal of the legislation was to bring partnerships within the business community, provide more opportunities for women and minority groups in the future growth and strategic plans of the organization, and promote greater awareness of the importance of sound human resources.

The CHD team and the Workforce Development & Farmworker Services Division was honored to have hosted Congressman Garamendi.

Growing Hope Fundraiser

CHD October Calendar Event

 

Happy October! Come check out what CHD has planned for the month of October. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the staff listed on the events list below for more information about their events.