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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Pima County Community Services Employment and Training

Meet Courtney

Workforce Challenge

Courtney is 20 years old, almost 21 she’s quick to tell those who ask her her age. She’d been out of school since she was 16, a good four years before she came to Las Artes. She’d been homeless for two years, working odd jobs to make just enough money to get by day to day and staying with one friend after another–or “couch surfing” as she refers to it.

Courtney lost her mom to an automobile accident when she was eleven years old. She soon became estranged from her father. She says throughout her late childhood there were people in her life that cared for her, but no one that really cared. She goes on to explain that she was fed and sheltered, but not given life skills as a pre-adolescent and then as a teenager. No one taught her about the importance of education, or about making good life choices, or even about taxes.

Workforce Solution

Courtney first went to Open Inn, a local non-profit, where she was able to get her housing needs resolved. Open Inn helped Courtney get her own apartment-rent free- she was just responsible for the utilities. Because Open Inn has a cooperative relationship with Las Artes, she was also referred to the school to obtain her GED.

With her housing needs met, Courtney was able to give her full attention to preparing for her GED. In doing so, Courtney completed Las Artes in 16 weeks, passing all five GED exams and earning her GED on October 15, 2009. She also gained valuable work experience and learned employability skills.

Outcomes & Benefits

Courtney is currently enrolled at Pima Community College. Courtney intends to eventually transfer to Evergreen State University in Washington State to pursue an undergraduate degree in Adventure Therapy. She then wishes to earn a Master’s in Counseling and work as a child therapist to help children overcome trauma.

Courtney also recently received a job offer from AFNI, a local teleservices firm. She said the employability skills she learned while at Las Artes made her more confident and positive during the interviewing process with AFNI. Starting December 6, Courtney will be working as a Customer Care Consultant under AFNI’s Verizon contract. She’s excited about having the new full-time job, making almost $10.00 per hour and being eligible for benefits. At the end of the year, she says, she’ll also know how to do her taxes.

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