Feature Story

Teen in Employee Readiness Program Finds His Purpose

Jake (name changed to protect privacy) was referred to Middle Earth last year after having moved to New Jersey from Pennsylvania after high school. He did not attend a traditional high school, and he deals with some physical disabilities that he's had since birth. As a result of these circumstances, Jake had never held a job and generally had little social contact.

Our staff could immediately tell that Jake is a really bright individual. However, Jake admitted that he had been feeling depressed since his move and stated during his program orientation that he generally feels like a waste of life and that he has no purpose. Obviously, we took special interest in his case because we wanted to support his employment efforts and his mental health at the same time.

Jake was incredibly diligent in our VISIONS program, coming every day for instruction and assistance. The purpose of the Visions Program is to provide youth with lessons in employment readiness and the expectations of employers and offer community service opportunities that enhance their resume. We teach youth how to apply for a job, how to interview well, how to build a resume, and the skills necessary to be a good employee and team member.

youth working on computerJake let our staff know that he really wanted to pursue a career in information technology (IT). He knew a lot about computers and even built his own gaming system in his home. We decided to help him pursue the A+ certification, which is one of the most important certifications an IT professional can get in order to obtain a job.

At the same time that he began training for this test, Jake found out about several IT openings at his father's workplace, a well-known pharmaceutical company. With our guidance, he applied, interviewed, and is awaiting a job offer from this company, and has passed the first part of his A+ test. The company has told him they will likely hire him before the end of the month, and that they will help him train for the second part of his test as well.

Since this has all happened, Jake’s attitude has completely changed from when we first met him. He is much happier and feels that he has a real purpose. He texted us recently saying, "I still can't thank you enough. This wouldn't even be happening if not for you guys. I'm extremely excited. You guys have really set my life in order."

This is the life change that YOU enable through your support of Middle Earth!