June Newsletter 2015

Letter from the Editoramericorps-logo

Dear Readers,

Progress reports on our clients can feel like a blessing here. Though our clients are under no obligation to update us on their progressions, it’s very much appreciated when they fill us in on their updated situations. There are a lot of people I have worked with this year that I wonder about from time to time. Weeks go by and I never hear from any of them. There was this man I had worked with for a while around the beginning of my service and I haven’t seen or heard from in months. Just this month as I was wondering about him a different person came into the office. Then he came up to me and asked me if my name was Clint, which it is, and he asked me if I remember a certain man I had worked with. It took me a minute, but I finally remembered Mr. Brown. I found out he got a job as a cook which is the field he wanted to be in. Since his roommate was coming to our office looking for work, he had sent his friend to tell me “Thank you” on his behalf. Just knowing that he got employed was good enough. I think I’ll have to stop by the restaurant he works at soon.

-Clint


Deborah’s DeskDeborah sm 2

This has been a tragic time in our history: another senseless, racially motivated, multiple killing in Charleston, South Carolina. It saddens me a great deal to know that racism is still alive and well in the United States. I thought we had made so much progress; but I was wrong. There is still much work to be done to break down barriers of all kinds: race, religion, culture, gender-related issues, etc. Our AmeriCorps team works with people from all walks of life no matter where they come from, what their beliefs are, what color their skin is, and what their past has been. Our Members serve our Nation by especially helping those with barriers to employment find a job that will feed their families, enable them to have safe and secure housing, and maybe, if they are lucky, put some money away for a rainy day or the future. Our Members use their skills, knowledge, compassion and empathy to work with individuals who may be in desperate need of employment. Maybe it’s just being present to listen to their story, or maybe it’s getting signed up for NCWorks, or helping a client with a resume; but know one thing, our AmeriCorps Team is making a difference!


Chelsea’s Chats 2008d18c-cf54-488d-b3a0-98e395c581e5

Miriam Chavez: NCBA Career Counselor- Johnston County

Where did you grow up?

Dunn, NC

Where did you go to school?

Dunn High School

Any family members or children?

I do not have any children but I am the oldest of 6.  I have 4 brothers and 1 sister and a passel of nieces and nephews.

Tell us a little about your professional interests, career path, and what brought you to where you are today.

I always had an interest in Civics and wanted to be a paralegal but I ended up being a career counselor for NCBA (National Caucus on Black Aging) instead.

What do you like about being a career counselor? What do you find challenging? 
mirm

I like helping my clients, I like the challenge of finding the best jobs for them and seeing them succeed in the workforce.  Find the right job for my clients can be challenging sometimes but it is worth it when I get to see them succeed.

How has your experience been working with AmeriCorps members?

It’s been wonderful.  They play a vital role in helping me assist my clients. 

What are your hopes and goals for your program this year?

That I can find placements for all my clients!

Any personal interests or quirky facts you’d like to share?

I love working in my garden, my flowers are my passion! 


Priya’s ProfilesFullSizeRender (1)

Member Spotlight: Bridgette Wilson

  1. Can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work?

I serve at the Tillery site as an Employment Advisor on the floor. I do outreach at Dress for Success and an apartment complex where I run a job club for residents. I am also a part of the service committee for the group.

  1. What would you say most motivates you to do what you do? What are the goals you hold personally?

10609423_340517809484023_3980760287212217936_nCustomer service and helping the people we serve is what motivates me the most personally. I love doing everything I can to help others. I strive to network and increase my capability to serve so I can be the best at what I do.

  1. What led you to this AmeriCorps project?  What were you doing before you came here?

 I was working in mental health administration.  I just wanted to find another way to serve others and found Americorps.

  1. Where did you grow up?  What was it like to growing up where you did?  Did you go to college?  Where did you go, and what was that like?

I grew up in Newark, New Jersey. I lived in rough neighborhood. I can definitely empathize with the experiences of many of the customers we serve as a result of my childhood there.

  1. Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in and what 10440711_333195893549548_3988232156062702322_nyou’re committed to in your work and life?  Tell me a little bit about them.

 I had a teacher in the third grade named Wanda Foyd. She was definitely a key mentor for me growing up. She really focused on helping urban youth and stressing the importance of education. She really wanted us to reach our goals.

  1. Did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path that led you to be doing what you’re doing today?  Tell me about them.

 I would definitely say raising my son and being a single mother was a life changing experience for me. After putting him on the right track it was all about deciding to do something to better myself and that brought me to where I am today.

  1. What do intend to do after your service with AmeriCorps? Go to school or continue with other employment avenues?

I intend to continue to network and develop myself professionally. I plan to do another year of service at the Cary site next year!

Member Spotlight: Clint Exum 

  1. Can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work?IMG_20141024_173710

I help people out with their task they set out to do on their computers, and do some light technical assistance around the office every now and then. I run this newsletter with the help of my amazing team members. I hold a workforce development class at the prison in Johnston County on Tuesday evenings even though no one has signed up for it for the past two months.

  1. What would you say most motivates you to do what you do? What are the goals you hold personally?

In some cases, that’s like putting one mirror in front of another mirror and looking into infinity. Writing motivates me, and it’s my goal to become a better writer. There’s always room for improvement so both the goal and the motivation fuel each other.

  1. What led you to this AmeriCorps project?  What were you doing before you came here? 

Well after I left my previous job I was looking for something that would affect people positively. Joining AmeriCorps was actually my sister’s suggestion, so I tried to apply for one program and I didn’t meet the deadline. Those applications are super lengthy. Then I saw the program with Capital Area applied to it and around 250 days later here I am!

  1. Where did you grow up?  What was it like to growing up where you did?  Did you go to college?  Where did you go, and what was that like?

10309340_340518589483945_2529511194063989212_nI grew up in mostly in Johnston County. Growing up, I lived in what is technically Micro, but I had a Selma address and a Kenly phone number. I started off living in a neighborhood, and I got to experience what it was like having neighborhood friends. Then we moved out to the middle of nowhere, and I got to experience what it was like going through fields and woods to get to my friend’s house. I enjoyed college very much. The first college I went to was Louisburg. I went there for a semester and transferred to UNC Charlotte. Louisburg is a nice small two year college. Everyone practically knew everyone there. I liked it. Now, UNC Charlotte is huge. There was no way I could know everyone there. However, I had a lot of interest. I changed majors a few times, I was a part of a few clubs, and made a lot of friends. By my senior year, it was rare for me to walk across campus and not see at least a few friendly faces.

  1. Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life?  Tell me a little bit about them.

I’ve had a few others growing up like my high school band director, Mr. Jones and my first boss, Mr. Billy and my internship supervisor John Bland. Mr. Jones was extremely supportive in all of my endeavors throughout high school as he is with all of his students. When I started working with Mr. Billy he got rid of my slack attitude quickly. “I’d rather make a mistake doing something than the mistake of doing nothing” and “If you got time to lean, you got time to clean.” These phrases will forever be embedded in me. The work was boring, but it built a strong work ethic. While I was doing my internship under John, he told me that if I want to be a successful writer I need to never stop writing. Although I don’t write every day, I still try to work on my projects diligently whether it be drawing or researching. He also gave me a lot of creative freedom during my internship.

  1. Did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path that led you to be doing what you’re doing today?  Tell me about them.

Not really. Answer three pretty much sums it up.

  1. What do intend to do after your service with AmeriCorps? Go to school or continue with other employment avenues?

I haven’t really decided yet. If I were to go to graduate school, I’m not sure what I would go for just yet. So I’m guessing I’m going with other employment avenues. I would like to do something to leave the area and experience another part of the country.


 Quincy’s Quote

Nathan_Hale_1925_Issue-half-cent“Let us march immediately, and never lay down our arms until we obtain our independence.”

~ Nathan Hale

Quincy (1)Our consumer work every day for their independence and we as Employment Advisors must remind them working hard will payoff down the road when seeking a job. We all honor our veterans, but July 4th is about our veterans and civilian heroes.  Only 1/3 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence ever served in the military or militia.  But they risked their lives, fortunes, and their sacred honor. Do we think for ourselves? Can we? Should we? Excepting in the most trivial sense it is in fact impossible. They are composed of elements from the great collective matrix of concepts & narratives that has always been circulating. We join in this symphony for our lifetimes, add our voice, and recognize ourselves only by hearing our song, then leave it to others when we are long gone.


Success Stories: East Regional Centerstick_figure_celebrating_pc_1600_clr_3055

Davis Technical Staffing came to the Career Center at the East Regional Center and approached me (Simms) about finding people to put to work immediately on a local project. Vanessa, who represents that company (Davis) was referred to me and as she explained the parameters of what she needed, I stared to connect with some individuals that had come into the Center. Applications were filled out and the hiring started immediately as she said it would. This Center may have the center point for at least 5 to 7 individuals hired to work the new BB&T Operations Center.


Chelsea’s Chuckles

I would like to dedicate this month’s comic to Rickey Simms.

comic


Priya’s Pics


Chef Chelsea: Crock-pot Sesame ChickenChef Chelsea

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tablespoons water
  • Sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONSchicken

  1. Lightly season your chicken with salt and pepper and place into crock pot.
  2. In a bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, barbecue sauce, oil and garlic.
  3. Mix well and pour over the chicken.
  4. Cook on LOW for 4 hours or on HIGH 2 hours (or just until chicken is cooked through).
  5. Remove chicken from crock pot with a slotted spoon, leaving sauce behind.
  6. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in 3 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot.
  7. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on HIGH for ten more minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  8. Shred the chicken and then return it to the pot and toss with sauce before serving.
  9. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice, quinoa or noodles.

Clint’s Corner: An Article on Their KeyboardIMG_20141024_173710

I think I have to try walking a mile in my clients shoes, or in this case try typing an article on their keyboard to better understand the troubles clients have with using a keyboard. By that, I mean typing with just my index fingers. I find it extremely frustrating typing this way as I see so many of my clients do, and I’m trying hard to fight the urge to not use my other fingers. Typing with only one hand is much easier than this. I was going to try to type this entire article with only my index fingers, but I just can’t.

keyboardYes, the keyboard can be a very confusing device for those who are not familiar with the things. Your standard keyboard only has 104 keys (Yes, I counted). Then, there are literally thousands of combinations. Learning all of those commands in school was so boring. Shift + “this” and Ctrl + Alt + “that”. I can see how someone not having thirty minutes set aside a day during school at a young age to learn this would be discouraged from using these shortcuts. However, this doesn’t keep some of my clients from making things way harder than it needs to be.

I was helping a man with an email he wanted to send an email, and I noticed he had misspelled the name of the position he was applying for. It’s good to spell the name of the position for which you are applying correctly; especially if you’re emailing the person in charge of hiring. So I tell him he might want to fix that and he lets out a huge sigh and proceeds to backspace everything he had typed. Nothing else was wrong with what he had typed. I’ve noticed that a lot of people when they have made a small error typing will backspace everything out. I told him he could have just moved the cursor to make that one change by either using the arrow keys or the mouse. I could tell he was upset, so I Ctrl+ Z (undo his backspacing) his message back in the compose mail area. At first I wanted to say “No! Just move the cursor to where the error occurred and fix the error!” Then I started saying that. That’s when I found out people didn’t know what the purpose of the cursor was, or how they could use it.

Earlier, I mentioned typing with only one hand. I’ve seen both sides of this scenario. There some people who only have use of one hand and type and those who only use one hand to type out of what I can describe as either having slack attitude or “texting syndrome”. Texting syndrome is a term I just made up to describe people who are so used to texting with one hand the behavior has carried over to a full size keyboard. There is a clear difference in the typing speed between those with use of only one hand and those who choose to type with one hand, but I think the main factor is the attitude they bring to the table. I’ve observed that those who are comfortable typing with one had a have a casual look on their face whereas the others look more frustrated.

It is interesting seeing how many different ways there are to use a keyboard. Of course my team members are familiar with people who only use their index fingers to type. It takes forever, and I won’t be trying it again if I can help it. Then, I have observed those who use the keyboard as if it is a type writer. They hit the keys so hard I think they will eventually break the keyboard in half! Then there are people who, I wouldn’t say use it like a normal person, because what is normal? Let’s say they use the key board the way it was originally intended to be used.


Rick’s ReflectionsRev

As the time draws even nearer to a close for this AmeriCorps group, we can all look back at our community efforts, no matter how trying or easy they were; we always got a smile from the client or a thank you. I look at our Team building training and I see in each of us an education to take with us, you know; some Tex and some Robin. When we look back at the one person who hung in there with us in our Group Services, we have to give Deborah Bromiley all her props, because not many leaders will join in the work, but delegate. What a wonderful person she is and her dedication to us.

June Cover

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