Before coming to Maryland New Directions, Sean was experiencing a lot of frustration in his job search efforts. He was working for a vehicle processing center, but work was slow and he was having trouble finding a good paying job. Sean's coworker mentioned Maryland New Directions' MTDL training program, and this piqued Sean's interest. His coworker didn't end up attending the orientation, but Sean did, and he was accepted into the three week program.
At MND, Sean improved his job search skills and became more comfortable with selling himself and his skills to employers in the interview. MND helped Sean secure his TWIC card, which made a huge difference in helping him gain employment in the industry. "After the program," Sean says, "I felt rejuvenated. I had a better outlook on life."
Sean's first two jobs after the program were temporary, but they gave him access to other employers at the Port, and he put his newly acquired networking skills to use. He sent cover letters and resumes to employers he spoke with and was diligent about following up. In May, he applied for a job with Maryland Port Contractors, and continued to follow-up with them to express his interest. Finally, after a month of follow-up calls and emails, the company offered him a full-time job loading and unloading cars on trains. In addition, on his days off, Sean has been able to work alongside the Longshoremen on the pier. "I am very appreciative of everything Maryland New Directions has done for me," Sean says, and he continues to tell others about the program.
"It was the best thing that happened to me in recent times," Jason said about his experience at Maryland New Directions. Jason had what he called a "fantastic career". He had worked all his life in logistics and distribution, but when the company he worked for went bankrupt, he lost his job. Jason worked a few short-lasting jobs, but wasn't able to make enough to support himself and his family. "I got depressed and fell into a funk," Jason said. "It's easy to get off track." He knew he needed to get back to work and be productive, so when his sister suggested MND, he took advantage of the opportunity and signed up.
Jason found the resume-writing assistance at MND especially helpful because he had been working for so long that he had lost touch with the skills he needed to find a job. "I truly enjoyed the experience of coming and participating every two weeks," he said. "They really got me out of my funk." Jason was appreciative of how compassionate, sincere, and empathetic the MND staff was to him.
Jason decided to apply for a position at the new Horseshoe Casino. The application process was long, but knowledge he gained at MND made him confident he could get the job. He also realized the importance of networking. Knowing someone who worked for the company really helped with the process.
On July 14, Jason started his job in the finance department at Horseshoe Casino and he is elated. "I'm looking forward to do something again," he said. Although he is able to retire soon, Jason plans to work hard and do his best at his new job for as long as he can.
Diana graduated from college in 2012. Even with her degree however, she was having trouble finding a job. She was looking for employment for over year; when financial pressure began to mount, she knew she needed help. "MND was my last chance," she said. "I heard great success stories and needed to give it a try." Diana enrolled in MND's Employment Training program in February 2013.
At MND, Diana gained a lot of knowledge. She built her confidence and worked hard during the two week training. Diana learned from her job coach, instructors, and peers. She realized she had been unable to get past the interview stage of her job search process. Now she no longer had a hard time selling herself and speaking about her skills. Diana excelled in training and before she even finished the training program, found a position. However, after working for 6 months with the company she was laid off. Diana did not give up though. She continued to practice the skills she had learned at MND.
Diana's dedication paid off, and she found a position at Second Chance in only a few months. She has been at Second Chance now for four months. Her job is to go through items that were donated and price them to sell. "I was so happy and excited when I found out I got the position!" Diana loves her job and plans on staying with the company and moving into their IT department.
Before Dawn found Maryland New Directions, she was struggling with the knowledge that her unemployment benefits were going to run out. She was working part-time, but barely making enough to sustain herself and her daughter. When she was evicted from her home, Dawn knew she had to accelerate her job search. She attended Maryland New Directions in December 2013, hoping to learn new job search strategies and get back on her feet.
At MND, Dawn gained a wealth of information. MND provided her with a stress-free environment to practice her job-search skills, and her confidence grew. Dawn felt enlightened and fortified by the new new information she learned. Her foundation was stronger because of the support she received here.
After she finished the two weeks of training, Dawn continued her job search and found a full-time job as an employment specialist at Creative Options. "The enthusiasm from the job coaches embraced me. Now I get to share it with others." When she found out she had the position, she said, " I wanted to leap! I felt illuminated, and now I can be a light for other people to help them find their way."
Before Donnette Mitchell came to Maryland New Directions she was in a stagnant place. "I was trying to figure out which way to go with my search for employment. I had been trying for so long and I wasn't getting any leeway," Donnette said. Her friend found out about MND and signed both of them up for training in January 2014.
At MND, Donnette gained new knowledge about job searching that she immediately found useful, and was able to apply to her own job search. She figured out why her resume was not working, and learned how to make her resume and cover letters stand out to employers. "Before coming to Maryland New Directions, I didn't have the confidence I needed," Donnette said.
She was able to utilize the skills she learned during the workshops quickly. She interviewed for a job at Lifetime Medical Care the same day as her mock interview at MND. Donnette was feeling under the weather during her interview but she felt so confident about her skills and qualifications that the employer did not notice. She gave a thank you card to the interviewer and they were very impressed.
Donnette landed the job as a Welcome Desk Representative with Lifetime Medical Care and is excited to work hard at her new position. Now that she is employed, it is her goal to advance in the company and further her education in the medical field.
Before coming to MND, life was stressful for Barcell. He wanted to get off unemployment and back to work, but was not able to find a job. "I don't like being on unemployment," Barcell said. "I worked my entire life."
Barcell went to a meeting at another local service provider and met MND job coach, Sonya Gibbs. Ms. Gibbs was spreading the word about MND's services and Barcell was interested. He decided to sign up for the program in June 2013.
At MND, Barcell gained confidence and the knowledge to get out and find a job. "I learned that you can't settle," he said. "You have to go after the job you want." Barcell especially gained confidence through the video interview process. After watching himself back on tape, and learning how to better present himself to employers, Barcell felt ready to ace a real interview. Before finishing the program however, he was notified that unemployment was cutting all benefits and he became anxious. He spoke with his job coach who immediately provided him with some job leads and he got to work applying. Four days after graduating MND's Employment Training Program, Barcell was hired as a supervisor for two buildings with Cleaning Services, Inc. "I felt so happy and relieved," Barcell said of gaining employment. "I can now pay my bills and get on with my life." Barcell is looking forward to getting back on track after his time of unemployment and purchasing a car. "I want to get back to living the way I was accustomed before losing my job."
Donna had worked in the health field for 37 years. After 21 years at her last position however, she was let go. Donna searched and applied for jobs on her own, but because of her age, was having no success. "Being unemployed really threw a monkey-wrench in my finances," Donna said. Nevertheless, a friend told her about Maryland New Directions, and tired of putting in applications and getting nothing in return, she decided to give it a try.
Coming to Maryland New Directions' training program was a strange experience for Donna at first. "It was like being back in school again," she said. But soon she liked the feeling of exercising her brain and being active. "You are never too old to learn more." Donna got training in computers and began to feel more confident. After a job fair in early 2013, she found work as a patient transporter. "This job has more potential than my old job," she said. Donna enjoys her work and is looking to go back to school for medical transcription so she can get into the field of healthcare administration. "I want to get a lot done before I retire," she said. Donna described her experience at MND as being a very positive one. "They welcome you with open arms; you can come back anytime."
Before coming to MND, Richard Dickerson's life was hectic and his job search was frustrating. He was working on getting back into the groove of things after being incarcerated, but was having a problem finding employment in his field of structural wiring with a criminal conviction on his record.
Dickerson saw the sign for MND while visiting another service provider in the building and decided to give it a try. He enrolled in the Career Focus program in June 2012 and never looked back. At MND, Dickerson practiced interview skills and filling out job applications. He also discovered what employers expect before and after hiring. The main thing he took away from his experience at MND however, was the importance of talking about himself. Dickerson was used to letting his work speak for itself. He now knows to sell his skills and strengths to employers and has the confidence to do so.
After completing his training, Dickerson continued to job search diligently. He took care of his children and took odd jobs here and there to make ends meet. Finally, Dickerson's hard work and training paid off. He was hired in late 2012 as a linesman doing low-voltage wiring and underground cabling. "When I was hired, I felt very much relieved," Dickerson said. He plans on learning the aspects of this side of his field and excelling from here. "There is a good chance I will go back to school, but for now I want to work on getting my credentials and clearance back and bettering my skills."
David Parker came to MND in December 2011. Despite the employment barriers he faced, including drug addiction and incarceration, David was persistent in looking for employment. "I kept coming back and MND kept giving me leads. Then, I used the resume writing and interview skills I learned at MND and finally got a job." David was hired as a dietary aide at Coppin State University on January 17, 2011. "The support group on Thursdays really helped me during the week," he recalls. "I don't know if I would have made it without that support." MND provided David with the skills to build his confidence and overcome his employment barriers. He learned how to conduct a good interview and speak about past mistakes productively.
When David was hired he felt relieved. "What they taught me here at MND, it really worked," he recalls. David is extremely grateful for the support and skills MND provided. Now that he is employed he plans on saving money and staying connected to MND. "Coming to MND allowed me to get the tools I needed to get a job," he says.
In 2011, Claudia Cole had just moved to Baltimore and was actively looking for work. After some time not being hired, a relative told her to contact MND. At first, Claudia was skeptical about the idea of an organization that helps individuals with career counseling and job placement at no cost. However, she found the interview and resume services very useful. After MND, she felt “definitely ready” to enter the workforce.
Armed with the skills she learned, Claudia went to a job fair MND had recommended. There, she met a recruiting manager at a janitorial business. Even though the company was not seeking administrative workers at the time, the recruiting manager liked Claudia so much he offered her a job as a part-time administrative assistant. Claudia is thriving in her role and plans to use this opportunity as a stepping stone to a full-time permanent position.
Four children, no job, and separated from her husband, Maxine came to MND looking for help in 2006.
Determined to succeed, she enrolled in nearly every program MND offered, learning job readiness and computer skills. With the tools she gained, Maxine soon found entry-level employment at a check-cashing business, but continued coming to MND for help with her career
Just as life began to improve, Maxine suddenly encountered difficulties when her son left for Iraq. The constant stress and worrying affected her performance at work, and she eventually lost the job. After losing the position she had worked so hard to gain, she went into depression for months and isolated herself from others. Then one day, Maxine was cleaning out her closet and came across the job-readiness materials she received at MND. Something clicked. Maxine realized that she had the ability to get back into the workforce with all the skills she had gained at MND.
Maxine renewed her job search efforts and began applying for jobs that matched her skills and interests as an administrative professional. She soon attained a receptionist position at an ophthalmologist’s office. Maxine is now in her fifth year working there and recently received a raise.
Before coming to Maryland New Directions, Johnny DeQuair had worked for 17 years as a regional manager with the same company. He had been in charge of stores from Baltimore to Seattle and supervised 250 employees. It wasn’t until he was laid off that Johnny realized he had an issue with reading and writing.
Though Johnny earned his high school diploma, he still lacked fundamental skills due to the oversight of his school and his own ability to work around his issues. “I was clever and could test well, but I didn’t know the information.” Johnny graduated without really learning how to read or write.
Even with his extensive background in executive leadership, Johnny could not overcome his educational barriers on his own. He enrolled in adult literacy classes at a local non-profit, and was referred MND to help him
with his job-search process.
His hard work paid off. In June, Johnny obtained a survival job, but continued to build his skills as a volunteer at MND. MND staff later assisted Johnny to apply to Chimes, an organization that helps those with intellectual disabilities. He was hired as a Behavioral Tech in September, which matches his career interest and offers a career ladder for growth. He is not stopping there, though. Johnny is also pursuing his degree at BCCC in psychology and maintains an ‘A’ average. He was recently promoted to a managerial position at his company after working there for only 6 months. He has received a substantial pay increase and will now qualify for benefits and tuition reimbursement.
MND specializes in helping clients remove barriers to employment. In Robert Harrell’s case, he needed help presenting gaps in his employment history due to past incarcerations. He recently told MND, “I took life for granted and made foolish decisions. It took time to re-educate myself when talking to people about employment.” Harrell credits MND for his successful interview with McCormick which helped him to land a job there with full-time benefits including health care and the potential for advancement. Harrell graduated from MND’s Career Focus Program with computer skills and today is proficient in Microsoft Word and an enthusiastic internet user.
With six children and no success trying to find employment on his own, Keeton enrolled in Maryland New Directions' Employment Training Program in May 2012. Although financial pressure mounted every day, he stayed committed to attending MND's two-week program. Though Keeton found the resume and cover letter training very helpful, he particularly benefited from the support and encouragement from MND staff. Within a few weeks of beginning the program, one of his job coaches’leads paid off. Keeton returned to the construction field full-time. He enjoys his job and is happy that he can provide support for his family.
In February 2015, Tonya was evicted from her Section 8 housing and became homeless. A single mother of four, Tonya had dropped out of high school in the 11th grade and struggled with addiction, depression, and abuse. She had lived in Section 8 housing for 13 years, and couldn’t keep a job. Although she was now homeless, Tonya realized that being evicted was the best thing that could have happened for her and her family. It was through this life event, that Tonya began to look closely at her life. “I had been stuck in this place of poverty and despair for all of my adult life. I began to see things that I totally disliked about my life,” she says. “It was time for a change.”
Tonya began to deal with the issues that had been plaguing her for so many years. Even without a paying job, Tonya began volunteering at a Women’s Shelter and developed meaningful relationships with the residents and staff. They informed her of Maryland New Directions’ MTDL program and the name intrigued her. She decided to sign up for the program and was accepted in June 2015.
At MND, Tonya learned about careers at the Port and also about how to deal with the barriers to employment that had been confining her to a cycle of joblessness. “MND helped me see the greater in me,” Tonya says. She learned about her soft skills and transferable skills and got assistance editing and perfecting her resume. A month after graduating the program, Tonya landed a job with an employer partner in the logistics industry.
In July however, Tonya’s experience with homelessness became overwhelming and it became difficult for her to focus on her work. “My boss said, ‘I see so much potential in you,’” Tonya says, “‘I don’t want to fire you.’” Tonya’s employer came together with MND Program Director, Clair Watson to give Tonya the support she needed to get back on her feet. Just last week, Tonya went back to work and her boss welcomed her. She is doing well at her job and just recently qualified for an apartment and will move in at the end of October. “This isn’t just a program,” Tonya says. “They help you from beginning to end. I am a product of the investment and I have not given up. Not only do I have a job, I have a career. I am leaving a legacy for my children.” Tonya recently wrote a story about her life that was published in the Word on the Street Newspaper. She is hoping to inspire others in her previous situation, who need hope and encouragement.
Before coming to Maryland New Directions, 23-year-old Nasir had held a variety of jobs, but hadn't found anything stable. As a new father, Nasir knew he needed a career to care for his one-year-old daughter, but he had never written a cover letter and needed help with his resume and interview skills. A friend of Nasir's who works at the Port of Baltimore told him about MND's Maritime Transportation Distribution and Logistics (MTDL) Training program and he decided to sign up. "I see a lot of people in my neighborhood who are out of work and struggling with poverty," Nasir says. "The MND program gave me something to look forward to."
On September 4, 2015, Nasir graduated from MND's three-week MTDL training program. Looking back on his experience, Nasir says he learned a lot about the interview process, his hard and soft skills, his transferable skills, and writing a resume. "I feel more aware of how important it is to focus on my career passions and desires," he says. Nasir especially loved MND's Connections Friday events. He felt inspired by the career journeys of the business professionals who visited and encouraged that he wasn't alone. Nasir likes the transportation industry and sees the railroad as a good place form him to find a career. As a first step, he recently secured a full-time job as a Warehouse Worker and is looking forward to moving up and supporting his daughter.
Shamir had a family to feed. She had built up a little savings and thought she could survive while she looked for employment, but the search for work was not as straightforward as she thought; Shamir had never completed her Bachelor's Degree. Even after 15 years of work experience with several reputable companies, Shamir Felt stuck.
Shamir joined Maryland New Directions' employment readiness training program in July 2014. She learned how to overcome her educational barrier and format her resume so that it highlighted the skills and qualifications that really mattered to the employer. Her job coach was her greatest support. "Even when I reached my frustration point," says Shamir, "she kept pushing me." Eventually, the job offers started coming in.
"I have to say, thanks to Maryland New Directions, I am working now at the Parking Authority of Baltimore City. When my manager called me to offer me the job, her exact statement was: 'Your resume sold me on you before I even met you.' I honestly will never forget her words." Shamir is determined to plant her feet with the City of Baltimore. After ninety days, she will be eligible for advancement opportunities and she is looking forward to the future.
Raymond was unemployed for almost three years before he found Maryland New Directions. He was applying to jobs and finding under the table work to make ends meet, but it wasn't enough. In August 2013, Raymond was referred to MND by a child support program. While in the Employment Readiness Training program here, he learned how to conduct himself during an interview, job search online successfully, and write a resume. "Before coming to MND, I didn't know how to apply and push myself 110% to get the job," he said. "Now I know how to apply to positions, network, and interview with success."
Raymond worked hard and kept up with his job coach. When a position became available, MND staff referred him to Second Chance, a local nonprofit, and he landed the job as a salesman there. "When I found out I had the position I felt happy to no longer be at rock bottom. I got a chance to push myself forward," Raymond said. Ever since he started working at Second Chance, Raymond has been the top salesman at the company. He hopes to work his way up there to a management position. Raymond recently received a raise and is now making $14.50 an hour. He is following up with his job coach to update his resume and help him move up the career ladder.
Robert Boston's life was stressful before he came to Maryland New Directions. He was unsure of where to begin his job search and as an ex-offender, was having trouble finding work. On his way to seek assistance from another service provider, he saw a flyer from MND that caught his eye. Robert decided to sign up for the program.
At MND, Robert met people that were going through the same difficult experiences as he was, and he built strong connections with his fellow job-seekers. Robert worked closely with his job coach, who was helpful and inspirational. "She kept encouraging me to not give up. She called me and gave me pep talks when I wasn't hearing back from employers." After finishing MND's Employment Training program, Robert took a survival job at Under Armour, but he continued to job search and keep in touch with his coach.
In March, Robert's hard work paid off; he obtained employment doing construction work for the reconstruction of the Chesapeake. He is happy with his new job, because he can pay his bills and support his family. "There is a lot of pressure off my shoulders," Robert said. He is planning to work hard to reach his goal of getting into the case management field. He aims to save money and go back to school during the fall semester. Robert wants to be a case manager because he has benefited personally from case management and is a long-term survivor of an immune deficiency disease. He would like to give back and offer compassion to people in need.
After getting laid off from her temp job unexpectedly, Diomi was devastated and ashamed. "This had never happened to me before," she said. In July, Diomi came to another service provider at 2700 N. Charles Street, and found out about MND. That month, she enrolled in the Employment Training Program.
After only two weeks of workshops and one-on-one job coaching sessions, Diomi went from feeling defeated to feeling on top of the world. "Athletes have coaches to help them become better," Diomi said. "When you lose your job, you need a job coach." On August 19 Diomi was hired as a customer service specialist for a greeting card company. Unfortunately, the position was only seasonal, lasting until December. However, with the new skills and mindset she gained from MND, Diomi proved herself to be an asset and they kept her until February. She was elated to have this opportunity, but after February she realized she wanted a full-time job with benefits. In June 2014, Diomi got what she had been dreaming of. She became a full-time customer service representative for Toyota. "I cried when I got the call. I just felt like this is it, this is the right fit."
Diomi hopes to continue advancing from here. She plans to begin her educational career at the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland in August. She also plans to continue to promote MND and volunteer when she can. "There's something about MND, something that just draws you near...It's like a professional family. They're always energetic and optimistic about you before you even realize your own potential.
Before coming to MND, Brandi spent 6-8 hours a day at the library, searching the internet for employment. "I got no hits," she says of the many applications she filled out online. "It got depressing. When you need a job, you need a job, and looking was becoming a hindrance. I felt like I was hitting a brick wall." Brandi was living off income from Social Services before she came to MND. A friend recommended the program and Brandi decided to give it a try.
At MND, Brandi learned what she lacked in resumes and applications, but also she learned more about herself and how to express her strengths and weaknesses. MND's training program taught Brandi how to sell herself. At one of MND's Connections Friday events, Brandi met guest speaker John of Smith Growth Partners. She spoke with John and he was so impressed with her skills and demeanor, that when a position became available, he hired her full-time as a coordinator. Brandi is now making a living wage and providing for herself and her children. Her goal is to continue working and improving her skills.
Life before MND was hard for Aaron. "I was in a gang, and at age 16, I was incarcerated." Aaron was in prison for 14 years. When he was released and began looking for work, he realized he had no job experience; he had spent a good part of growing up in prison. "I needed a change," said Aaron. His aunt told him about MND and his sister and girlfriend brought him down our offices for the Employment Training Program.
At MND, Aaron learned how to present himself professionally for the interview. "It was great; I learned how to talk to people professionally, and how to sit and dress for the interview." Aaron worked hard with his job coach Sonya and soon was hired as a loader at a local laundry facility. "Getting hired was one of the best days of my life," Aaron said. " I didn't know someone would accept me knowing my background." Aaron is extremely grateful to the staff at MND who helped him get hired, but he didn't stop there. He continued to look for a position that was more than just a survival job, and was soon employed at a local auto body shop. Aaron loves the work he is doing now. Recently, he was promoted to supervisor and is now making $13.50/hour, $2.00 more than before. "MND taught me so many things I didn't know. It was a blessing that I came here."
When Grover Perry was hired, he felt "like a million bucks."
Life hadn't been easy on Grover. After graduating from a drug rehab program and moving into a halfway house, Grover was ready to rebuild his computer and job-search skills, and get back to work. The director of his halfway house referred all the men who came through her program to MND for job readiness training and so Grover enrolled in the Employment Training Program in May 2012.
"I wasn't sure I'd fit in," Grover said. After coming for his first few workshops however, and getting back on the computer, he felt more at ease. "I learned about the corporate world, finance, computer skills, and most importantly, was introduced to others in the same position as me." Grover treated MND's program like a job; he got up each day and came to work on his skills even after graduating from ETP. "Persistence and never-ending learning are key," Grover said.
On February 7, 2013, Grover was hired as a floor tech at a local court house. "The first couple of days were really hard. My body wasn't used to the work." Soon however, Grover got back into the swing of things and after three days on the job, was hired as a supervisor. "The employer liked my resume, I had a lot of experience in this field," he said of his quick promotion.
Now that Grover is working, he is looking forward to getting his GED, finding an apartment, and starting to save. He describes MND as his "second home," and continues to work on his computer skills in the lab in his free time and motivate other job seekers to be persistent in their job search.
Before coming to MND, Irma Kelley was frustrated with her job search efforts. Even though she was qualified for the positions she applied for, she wasn’t getting any offers. “I couldn’t understand why,” Irma said,“and I
began to doubt my own abilities.”
Irma came to Maryland New Directions in the beginning of September 2012; She had decided that she was going to look into whatever programs she found that could be of help to her in her job search.
“When I first inquired about the program, the receptionist, Patricia, was so helpful and kind,” said Irma. MND’s welcoming nature helped her make the decision to start the Career Focus program. Irma was also at the point where she knew something had to change with her job search and interview techniques. Despite her extensive experience and qualifications, she wasn’t getting callbacks—“no matter how much I thought I knew about searching for and obtaining employment, there had to be something I was
At MND, Irma learned how to identify and highlight her skills, characteristics, and accomplishments. She also garnered the tools to work on some skill areas that needed improvement, such as time management, interview techniques, and resume writing. “At MND, I learned that there was a lot more to searching for a job than the internet.” Irma now realizes the importance of following up after applying for a job, networking, and talking about herself.
Not long after completing MND's Employment Training Program, Irma was hired by the second company she interviewed with, a recruitment firm. She is a contractor for the company and began working on January 2, 2013 at Johns Hopkins Bayview campus in their managed print services. After being hired, Irma was ecstatic.“Now that I have a job,” she says, “I plan to follow through with the goals I set for myself at MND,” which includes going back to school and earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services.
Irma describes her overall experience at MND as “truly life changing.” “From walking through the doors to meeting and getting to know your job coach, you are always treated as a person,” she says, “with respect and dignity.”
When Alfreda Baxter moved to Baltimore in 1997, she was recently divorced and not sure where to turn. She worked various odd jobs but was soon fed up and frustrated; she needed something permanent. After much searching however, she discovered Maryland New Directions.
At MND Alfreda began working on her resume and rebuilding her skills. While she received the career counseling she needed, Alfreda volunteered with MND's GED class. The staff was impressed with how well she connected with her students and offered her an internship. The skills and experience she gained during this time helped her find a permanent position not long after at a learning center, teaching adult education. Alfreda worked there until the center closed abruptly in 2011. Although she was again unemployed, this time, Alfreda know where to go.
When Alfreda returned to MND in 2011, staff helped her navigate the new world of online job applications and updated her resume. Alfreda applied to another adult educator position at a local nonprofit and was given an interview. Two days later, she was hired. Alfreda is extremely grateful for her connection to MND: "When I needed help, I knew exactly where to come."
Kweku sought out MND in August 2012 looking for structure and a game plan for how to enter his field in journalism and marketing. A self-described introvert just entering the professional world, he also wanted to work on his interviewing skills. Kweku worked with MND staff on his interviewing skills and found that the video interviews very beneficial. “I saw how nervous I was in the beginning and I learned to be more comfortable.” Kweku gained confidence in answering questions and felt ready to show what he had learned with potential employers.
Kweku was interested in working for a non-profit and came across an online listing for an internship with Young Audiences of Maryland. “I thought it was a great mission so I wanted to help.” The program works on exposing young kids to art and music. Kweku applied and was given an
interview. Thanks to his work with MND, Kweku felt prepared. “I don’t think I would have gotten the internship without going through the interview process at MND,” he says.
Kweku’s internship began in September. Kweku is especially excited because he will get to meet other artists and poets and gather inspiration for his own future writing.
Janiese Brookings-Parker came to MND in the spring of 2012, frustrated that she had no job offers after looking for employment for over a year. She had 12 years of experience as a legal secretary and solid work skills. After working through the steps of MND’s Career Focus Program, she learned through a videotaped interview session that she was not presenting herself as best she could for the interviewer. Parker received a one-on-one critique and coaching session with MND staff and learned how to present herself more effectively. Soon after she interviewed with the State of Maryland, she was hired as an Administrative Assistant Specialist I. She began work in October and looks forward to utilizing her skills once again.