CHD Staff Member Spotlight: Jaswinder Sandhu/by Yeny Cardona
A View into Esmeralda’s Life/by Yeny Cardona
Esmeralda came to CHD looking for an opportunity to better assist her mom. Esmeralda’s mom is a farmworker, she specifically works in the grape fields. As the second oldest sibling, Esmeralda felt helpless and sad to see her mother get up early in the morning with freezing temperatures. The struggles weren’t better during the hot months because she would sweat profusely, and get sunburnt from the scorching and relentless high temperatures.
Esmeralda’s mom was receiving some assistance from Senior Case Manager, Lorena Sotelo. Through one of the interactions that Lorena had with her mom, she told her about our Work Experience Program (WEX) that Esmeralda could benefit from. Esmeralda’s mom mentioned the program to her and encouraged her to speak with Lorena to proceed. Esmeralda wasted no time and was beyond excited to apply and see if she qualified to be part of the program. After learning about the WEX Program, she was eager to do her training in our Immigration and Citizenship Program. Unfortunately, life happens and you never know what is coming your way. Esmeralda and her family received some devastating news in regards to Esmeralda’s health. Esmeralda was unable to proceed with the program since she was about to tackle her hardest battle against cancer.
Today, Esmeralda comes out as a survivor and an inspiration because she is cancer-free and determined to take the lead in her life and aspirations. She came back to Lorena to see if she still qualified for the program and there was an opportunity to work in the Administration Department as the receptionist. Esmeralda was grateful that she could once again forge a path to self-sufficiency, but she was a little sad that she didn’t get the opportunity to work in the Immigration and Citizenship Division. Esmeralda’s dedication and efforts were recognized and she was transferred over to the Immigration and Citizenship Division. Esmeralda will be given all the tools and knowledge that she needs to be successful in her WEX training and her path to a better future for herself and her family. CHD is honored to have Esmeralda be part of our team and can’t wait to see how far she goes. Keep on thriving, Esmeralda!
Our Work Experience Program is great because it will allow individuals to gain experience in different fields. To learn more and see if you qualify, contact us!
The Gutierrez Family/by Yeny Cardona
Felipe’s Journey/by Yeny Cardona
Everyone comes from different walks of life but we all share one thing in common; we strive for a better life for ourselves and for our loved ones. Felipe is a client who was referred by a friend to come inquire about our services here at California Human Development. Felipe came to the United States when he was 18 years old, and he had a specific goal in mind which was to work with children. Felipe’s dream was to be a positive influence on the youth and children. He remembers back to his first job in Mexico, selling tamales, clothes, and toys, and he would interact with a lot of the kids. He would share his experiences and knowledge with them and saw how they learned from them.
When he arrived to the US, he resided in Ukiah and began to work in the grape industry from pruning to harvesting grapes. He worked long and hard hours six days a week but he was still determined to better himself. After work, he would make time to attend the Ukiah Adult School to obtain his GED and he would attend ESL classes wherever they were offered. After completing his GED, Felipe proceeded to take courses at the Junior College for business, general education, and some more ESL classes.
Unfortunately, Felipe was laid off from his current job and he decided that it was time for him to search for a job that had to do with his passion. He began to search for jobs where he could work with children but was having some difficulties. That is when Felipe found himself at CHD because of his friend’s referral and met with our Case Manager in that area. After the Case Manager interviewed him, she found that he was eligible for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act 167 National Farmworker Jobs Program and Temporary Housing Programs. Felipe mentioned that he wanted something where he can work with kids and they were able to connect with the Director of the Ukiah Boys and Girls Club. Felipe had what was needed to be part of the Boys and Girls club. Because he was still unemployed, his family was having financial problems. Thankfully, with the WIOA 167 NFJP program, they were able to assist him with paying for work clothes, and the Temporary Housing program assisted with some of his utility bills.
Felipe was then enrolled in our Work Experience Program (WEX) and he began to gain the skills and experience he needed at the Ukiah Boys and Girls Club. He participated in the Academic Service Program, was introduced to leadership roles where he was able to develop more skills in guidance and mentorship. He worked extremely hard and with his determination, he found a job opportunity at the Ukiah Unified School District. Felipe was assisted and applied for a Teacher’s Aide position. He now works at the Nokomis School and he is pursuing his goal of working with children and guiding them.
At CHD, we truly try to create opportunities for people to better their lives. Felipe, we wish you well and are here for any other services you may need.
To learn more about our services, visit our Workforce Development and Farmworker Services homepage or contact us!