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“I’m able to take my kid out to eat, pay a bill. I’m able to live.”
Anthony remembers the exact day he got out of prison: November 6, 2012. From there, it was hard to find work because of his background and lack of formal training. He struggled to pay his child support arrears. “I didn’t know what I was going to do or where I was going to go,” he says. “I didn’t even know if Brooklyn Woods could help me.”
But only a week after graduation, Anthony had secured multiple job offers, and now he’s employed full-time in a locally owned wood shop. “I’m able to pay off some of my child support, take my kid out to eat, pay a bill,” he says. “I’m able to live.”Next participant
“I really, really needed another job.”
When Eloisa left Mexico for the US at age 15 with her newborn, she knew no one and didn’t speak English. As her son grew up, Eloisa worked as a taxi driver. But in a city where the taxi industry is in crisis, Eloisa struggled – and the lack of benefits, low pay, and uncertainty weren’t helping.
“Some days,” she says, “I’d come home and say, ‘I’m going to give up.’” But she didn’t: Eloisa had a crucial skill set, and she set her sights on getting her Commercial Driver’s License through Red Hook on the Road. She just had to fine-tune her English, which she did through BWI’s bridge program. Now, Eloisa’s a school bus driver. She’s in a union, and for the first time in her life, she has a job with a pension and benefits.Next participant
“The sky’s the limit.”
Lawren became a single mother at age 16 and was raising her daughter in a NYCHA development, supporting their family with temporary employment. It was difficult, and she needed more stability.
When she learned about the opportunity to train with BWI and find permanent work with NYCHA, she took full advantage of it – and then went above and beyond. After two years as a NYCHA Caretaker, she worked her way up to a more specialized position as a Heating Plant Technician, one of the most critical roles in a development. Lawren hasn’t just found a job – she’s built a career in her community, and a future for her family. “At NYCHA,” she says, “the sky’s the limit.”Next participant
“I have a savings account, I have options – I’m not limited.”
Growing up in a NYCHA development with his mother, Tarone knew he wanted a career in TV and film. But he lacked industry connections and credentials like a driver’s license. He’d tried to study film, but had to leave school because he couldn’t afford it. For several years, he didn’t work at all. Tarone didn’t realize there was a place for people like him until he found the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program.
He dove in, earning his license through New York Drives and honing his skills. He went straight from graduation to work his first gig, and he hasn’t stopped since. Now, Tarone is part of the team for a major network episodic, and he’s working his way toward union membership. “The future doesn’t feel as bleak,” he says. “I have a savings account, I have options – I’m not limited.”Next participant