Stories from Our Neighbors
Juan originally came to USES' Workforce Readiness Program with limited English proficiency and a strong passion for computers. "I want to end up being a computer technician," says Juan. When he first started at USES' Computer Training for Employment class, he felt uneasy as the youngest in the program. Soon enough, though, those fears faded away as he made strong friendships in the classroom and built his confidence in navigating the computer. He was so eager to stick around, both to build his English proficiency as well as his computer skills, that he volunteered to help one of USES' Technology Education teachers as a teaching aide. Wanting an opportunity to gain more computer skills, Juan applied for a paid internship at USES, getting a chance to practice his computer skills and gain valuable experience on his way to becoming a computer technician. From his time here, Juan has gained the skills he needs to easily navigate through complex computer programs with a constant smile, knowing that he is well on his way to becoming a computer technician. "I've met so many great people here at USES. They are all so welcoming and this internship is a great opportunity for me. I really want to thank everyone here at this organization for all they have given me," says Juan.
Gary A. Pappas, Brigadier General, AUS (Ret)
Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint the defining moments that happen over the course of a lifetime, but when you think about Camp Hale, the answer is right in front of you. “I am convinced that those experiences [at Camp Hale] enabled me to reach a potential I would have otherwise not thought possible. The lessons learned, the role models, the teamwork and the self-confidence stayed with me through even the most difficult times.” With the skills he crafted at Camp Hale, Gary went on to a long career serving his country in the Army and National Guard. Now retired, Gary is not just drifting into the sunset, but gives back to the Camp Hale community, passing along the life-altering lessons and giving back to a program that set him on the road to success.
Ruby is in her seventies and is a member of USES’ Platinum Singers, a program that helps seniors in Boston learn to use their speaking and singing voice in a healthy way while boosting air power, volume and expressivity. When Ruby first came to Boston after emigrating from Jamaica, she was not sure where she could turn for support, help, or friendship. Luckily, USES was there for Ruby when she needed it the most. The Platinum Singers program at USES not only helped Ruby find her voice in Boston, but also helped her overcome potential loneliness and isolation. “I joined the Platinum Singers because they help me to grow in my love of music. It gives me an opportunity to get out and meet new friends instead of sitting at home alone.”
Tiffany has received so much help from USES over the years, she could not wait to intern at USES and start giving back to those who gave her so much. Tiffany really understands the need for education, and credits USES' Workforce Readiness program for getting her back on track in her life, helping her earn her GED and continue on to higher education. "Education is a must," she says. "That is why it has been so important for me to instill this in my kids, getting them to realize the importance of education from an early age." From her first step within USES' Harriet Tubman House, she knew she found a home. "The staff was so welcoming; it was overwhelming," she says. "It was the first place I went to that I felt like they genuinely cared for me. They have been with me every step along the journey."