April Graham knew she wanted to make a change, especially with a baby on the way. But her past drug convictions kept her from getting the types of jobs that would provide for her and her daughter, despite celebrating three years of sobriety last month.
Benefits like insurance and the ability to afford childcare took on new urgency as April sought a way out of the cycle of low-wage employment. “I knew I needed to further my education and pursue a career, not just a job,” April shared recently.
After searching online, April discovered CrossPurpose, an Activate Work nonprofit partner, on Facebook, and she appreciated how CrossPurpose was faith-based and community focused. CrossPurpose introduced April to Activate and its workforce readiness program.
“I knew I needed help, and Activate was the place that really helped me,” April explained.
In addition to helping April draft a resume and coaching her through mock interviews, Melissa, Dulcy, and Activate staff helped April develop the soft skills necessary for landing the types of roles that would set April up for long-term success. While networking and communication may come naturally for many, knowing how to navigate the complexities and nuances of organizational life are essential for people like April.
“Through working with April, it was clear that she was determined to reenter the workforce with dignity for herself and her new baby,” explained Melissa Cunny, career advisor with Activate Work. “April has great work experiences and very positive references, so matching her with a new career was about finding an employer that allowed her to balance childcare and full-time employment.”
“Activate staff was awesome,” April explained. “They helped me evaluate if a job wasn’t true to what I wanted to be doing, and they made sure that it was something that I could see myself doing so I could get the position that I really wanted.”
Activate’s advocacy and April’s hard work paid off when she accepted a role in distribution and operations with Denver Health, one of Activate’s largest workforce partners. April’s opportunity is part of Denver Health’s broader commitment to provide first opportunities and second chances to people – a core aspect of their anchor institution initiative.
April’s new path of economic self-sufficiency is due in part to both Activate’s advocacy as well as April’s motivation to set an example for her new daughter. “Having a baby motivated me even more,” April said. “Looking at her every day makes me want to be the best person I can be to be able to help her achieve her goals, as well.”
Even as she settles into her new role at Denver Health, April already has her sights set on future ambitions and opportunities within the organization–a chance to grow that she rarely found with other jobs.
“I’m grateful for Activate,” April explained. “I owe my future to them.”