Here are a few of the remarkable individuals who inspire our work here at Onward. We chose to highlight a few stories that show not only successful outcomes but how we work within the community every day.
“I had never touched a computer before, and because of Onward House, now, I can do so much. They were willing to teach me everything.
One client impacted by the economic development programming is Estela, one of the more than 500 people annually who visited our CCRC. She is now using the skills she learned to create a blossoming business. “I had never touched a computer before, and because of Onward House, now, I can do so much. They were willing to teach me everything,” she said. “Now, customers can email me when they have an idea, and I can get right back to them.”
Estela uses Microsoft Office to keep track of her inventory and bills and has created pages on social media where she can post information and photographs of her merchandise. She used to plan two events per month, but now she’s planning four times that many. She is successful because of the economic development training she had at Onward House.
José was struggling to use the Microsoft Excel program used to track inventory for a popular steakhouse where he was employed as sous-chef. Spending an extra two hours per night on inventory greatly impacted his job, and forced his employer to give him an ultimatum: take a class to learn Excel, or find a new job. Many computer classes were pricey or did not fit with José’s schedule – since he worked late nights and often took care of his children after school. Fortunately, José was referred to Onward House where he was able to drop-in to free computer classes when he was available, and worked one-on-one with Mauricio, our Computer Coordinator, to gain the skills needed to succeed at work. Today, Jose is able to complete his end of the night inventory duties much faster, and as a result, his employment is secure, and his new skills have “open a second door” at work.
After 8 years of working for a large tax preparation service, Rosalina was ready to start her own accounting business. But as new entrepreneur needing startup materials, professional marketing services were out of the budget. The eCommerce classes at Onward House taught Rosalina how to use online resources and learn the computer skills needed to create professional materials, including a logo, business cards, and flyer to promote her business. Now with a new logo and business cards, Rosalina is ready to take care of tax and accounting needs in the community!
David & Jaime
David came to Onward House Early Childhood Education program at age 4 with behavioral issues – he would crawl and jump all over the classroom, wouldn’t listen to the teacher, and would often run away from her. David’s father, Jaime also exhibited frustration with David’s behavior during pick-up and drop off. These behaviors culminated when an Onward House Director, Yolanda witnessed Jaime screaming at David during pick-up. She brought Jaime into her office to calm him down, and also to remind him that she was a mandated reporter, to let him know the seriousness of the matter. Jaime apologized, and shared that he had recently won custody of David, the pair were struggling with the change, and issues with David’s mother exacerbated David’s impulsive behaviors. Jaime felt that his constant discipline, as he had experienced in his own childhood, had little effect on David.
Yolanda set Jaime up with a one-on-one mental health consultation, and the extra support in addressing the parent-child issues immediately seemed to relieve some of Jaime’s stress. The consultant then observed David in the classroom and recommended a partner agency where Jaime attended parenting sessions with other parents to better understand child development and how to approach problems with David. David also attended a session that addressed his behavioral issues.
Following the intervention and training, staff remarked on the immediate change in father and son. Now, pick-ups and drop-off are peaceful. Jaime is friendlier, he now greets teachers with a smile and has expressed his gratitude to Onward House for intervening and providing guidance on a challenging parenting situation.