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Yolanda's Story

Meet Yolanda

Cheerful, bright, and positive are all words that can be used to describe Yolanda, and now independent can be added to that list.

Yolanda has always shown tenacity and enthusiasm in her approach to life, qualities, which led to her success in MOKA’s Skill Building program. If an experience can help her learn and grow, she is not likely to turn it down. In fact, one of her favorite parts of the Skill Building program was volunteering in the community because she was able to learn new skills, meet new people, and help others.

When Yolanda entered MOKA’s program, her long-term goal was to obtain a job. She knew reaching her goal would take a lot of personal motivation and determination. Having access to multiple volunteer sites enabled her to identify likes and dislikes in order to narrow down her job search. “Being out in the community and volunteering at places like Goodwill helped me gain the hands-on experience I needed to prepare me for a job,” shared Yolanda.

Aaron Cope, Supervisor of Community Supports, played a key role in Yolanda’s person-centered approach to reaching her goal. Aaron worked with Yolanda for just over five years, supporting her through every step of the process--from exploring career possibilities, to searching media for job openings, coaching her for the interview, and even accompanying her to the interview for support. Yolanda achieved success in the Skill Building program when she was recently offered a job at Old Navy. She readily accepted. Yolanda revealed she “loves being around people and working in a business that I really enjoy.”

One noticeable difference in Yolanda is her level of confidence. “It has risen tremendously since I began working with her,” says Aaron. The ability to explore multiple facets of her skill sets, interact with others, and make a positive and meaningful contribution to the community that she loves are all factors that have strengthened her poise and self-assurance.

Acquiring this job also helped her build and retain her own independence. She is now able to pay bills, maintain a place to live, and even go out for a night of her favorite activity, karaoke.  

After celebrating a major milestone, her one year anniversary with Old Navy, Yolanda looks forward to the future and achieving new goals.

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