“I love my job. I’m helping women who really need it.”

MARIA Red Hook on the Road Graduate

“In New York, you can get anything you want. You just have to work hard for it.” Maria, a South Bronx native, learned these words from her mother and lives by them. As a young woman, Maria became a construction worker to support her four children. But when work became less stable, Maria fell into homelessness. After a few years, a security guard working in the shelter noticed how dedicated she was to finding a new career path, he gave her the phone number for Red Hook on the Road, and Maria started her training soon afterward. In about one month she had earned her commercial driver’s license.

Today, you might find Maria driving on the streets of your own neighborhood, in a mobile mammogram screening center for the health care organization where she now works. “I love my job,” she affirms. “I’m helping women who really need it.”

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“Thanks to Brooklyn Networks, I am living a more stable life.”

CESAR Brooklyn Networks Graduate

Fifteen years ago, Cesar arrived in the U.S. with limited English and little training to work as an electrician, his dream job since high school. Whenever he could, Cesar went to free English classes and searched for ways to connect with his choice career or a similar field. Cesar came to live in New York because he believes it is a place full of hope. “New Yorkers are constantly moving, ready to leap on the first opportunity that will help them become self-sufficient.”

That opportunity presented itself when a friend told him about Brooklyn Networks, BWI’s training program for careers in low-voltage cable installation. The training was tough, but Cesar believes the rigorous curriculum prepared him for the work he does today as a fiber optic cable installer. He recently shared, “Thanks to Brooklyn Networks, I am living a more stable life.”

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“I’m more stable financially, and my family has more space.”

LAMARRIEA NYCHA Resident Training Academy Graduate

LaMarriea, a mother of four, was working hard as a part-time home health aide when her employer came under new management and her hours were cut. With no financial safety net, she knew right away she needed to make a change. Then LaMarriea heard about the NYCHA Resident Training Academy, a program designed for residents of public housing who need a path to a stable career. She fully committed to the training, commuting more than two hours each way between the Bronx and Brooklyn throughout five weeks of instruction. Since graduation, her hard work has paid off.

LaMarriea has lived in NYCHA housing her entire life, until just a few weeks ago. Her family now lives in a market-rate apartment for the first time. “I’m more stable financially, and my family has more space.” She’s eyeing advancement opportunities with NYCHA, either in grounds keeping or as a Heating Plant Technician. Finally, there is a bright future ahead.

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“Every day I wanted to learn something new and Brooklyn Woods always had something new to teach me.”

SHAWN Brooklyn Woods Graduate

The day Shawn became a father was one of the most significant moments of his life. “My kids inspire me to be a better version of myself.” Since his first child was born sixteen years ago, Shawn has struggled to find stable work. When hard times hit he couldn’t always afford rent on his own. Shawn knew he needed a change.

Shawn searched for career options online and came across Brooklyn Woods. Always the creative type, he thought the BWI woodworking and fabrication training program could lead to a stable career. Shawn applied to the program after attending an information session and knew he made the right decision when training began. Shawn loved the hands-on learning in the state-of-the-art production shop. “Every day I wanted to learn something new and Brooklyn Woods always had something new to teach me,” Shawn said. Today, he builds cabinets and vanities with sustainable materials in the Brooklyn Woods Social Enterprise.

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“The program saved my life; going from one minimum wage job to another–you can’t survive in New York like that.”

TAIECE "Made in NY" PA Training Program Graduate
New York Drives Graduate

Taiece first heard about the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program from the subway ad campaign in the summer of 2014. After learning about the program’s requirements, she looked into first getting into the New York Drives program to earn her driver’s license. Taiece was looking for an opportunity to find consistency in her career path. She was always interested in television and film, but didn’t have an access point. She instead found herself in one dead-end job after the next, earning low-pay and struggling to make ends meet. MINY was a different world for Taiece once she began her training. She was excited to hear from the alumni because they made her goals feel attainable.

Taiece now enjoys the stability brought to her thanks to her new career. She is working on two shows that are currently on air as a member of their set dressing and props teams. She’s also working on joining the Local 52 union and has been rounding out qualifications via a number of certifications including her OSHA 10.

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