Kenya’s Story

Workforce Development Program Grad Didn’t Let Hardship Hold Her Back

In 2011, my husband and I moved out of New York to Georgia. I had a hard time finding work. Everyone was telling me that I was overqualified. I have a background in corrections but working in a jail wasn’t good for me. I needed to do something different. Then in 2012, my husband became terminally ill. I spent a year and a half taking care of him. When his health became better, we decided to move back to New York where I thought it would be easy for me to find a job. It wasn’t. I faced the same rejection because of being overqualified. I was feeling hopeless.

One day, I was at a school fair with my goddaughter, and someone handed me a pamphlet about the Greyston Workforce Development security guard training. At first, I thought it was for teens and young adults, but my husband encouraged me to call about it. Getting my security guard license was a turning point for me. I learned the life skills I needed to get myself organized and declutter my life. I also learned how to perform in a job interview. I had never had a job interview before. Even though I was the oldest in my class, I came to feel comfortable with my instructors and the other students. I realized that sharing my life story could inspire the younger students to recognize that no matter what life throws at them, they can bounce back.

With Greyston’s support, I got a job as a security guard at Hudson River Museum. I’ve regained my self-confidence and feel that the training program was the first step to opening many doors. My family now has financial security, and we aren’t stressed about where our next meal is going to come from. I am currently completing the last year of a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness. I’m making plans to seek a career that combines skills from my security training with those from my degree.