In 2008, just like millions of other Americans, through no fault of my own, I found myself laid off and in the infamous unemployment line. It had been a rough year for everyone – the American workforce as well as corporate America. After less than a year at a radio communications firm, I was unemployed. It’s not like I hadn’t searched for employment before, but this time was different. People all over the world found themselves in a global recession and the opportunities weren’t as plentiful as in years past.

One day, while feverishly searching online for employment at the Enoch Pratt Library, a young woman with fiery red hair approached me talking 100 miles a minute about a program she attended that aided her in finding employment. She told me they taught her how to write a resume and gave her lots of great instruction on how to search for employment in this tough economy.

She told me of a dynamic instructor named Mr. Jones and a very attentive gentleman named Mr. Simmons who had helped her immensely while she attended the Work4Success program at the Our Daily Bread Employment Center.

Although I already knew how to write a resume, I figured I had nothing to lose by trying something new. Not knowing what to expect and moderately skeptical about the program, my first day I showed up in jeans, a sweatshirt and a hat. Mr. Jones quickly established a standard of excellence and professionalism that he expects from each of his students. There were people from every walk of life and with every skill level. Many students needed basic computer help.

Having 20-plus years of administrative experience, I began to recognize a need in the program for computer literacy classes, and I volunteered to teach such a class. Mr. Jones quickly set the ball in motion for the class and the first Computer Literacy class was conducted on October 26, 2009.

After the five-day course, I graduated and began my job search. I believed so strongly in the good work Catholic Charities was doing that I applied for a position in the Client Services Department and began employment with Catholic Charities on January 2010.

It just so happens that this was the best employment move of my career. I love the work I’m doing here as the Information and Referral Specialist. This is what I was meant to do and I’ve never felt so right in a job. I get to see people’s lives change for the better right before my eyes and I’m so grateful to be able to help them. I work with an outstanding, dedicated team and am blessed to have a cool boss. The icing on the cake is that Catholic Charities is a great place to serve the community!