Opportunity On The Horizon: Jesus’ Story
For an entire year and a half, Jesus Evangilista beat the pavement to find a job. Day after day, the 36-year-old father of four hit the streets, looked online and networked relentlessly find anything at all that would help him take care of his family. For Jesus, who had been laid off from his accounts payable job, landing a job was just as much about building his confidence as it was about landing a position. “It’s not just the job,” Jesus said, “When you’re out of work, your self-esteem goes down.”
The search was wearing him down.
Looking for a job during the recent recession was tougher than Jesus had anticipated. He found that everyone who landed the jobs for which he applied had bachelor’s degrees while he had ended his education with an associate’s degree. Often, he would find that he was just too late to the process–by the time he applied, the job opening would be closed.
But a new opportunity was on the horizon.
Seeing her son work so hard and find nothing, Jesus’ mother learned about LIFT through her friend and neighbor. That friend happened to be the mother of Juan Aquino, LIFT-Los Angeles’ program director. Jesus sent his resume to Juan and scheduled his first LIFT appointment in May 2013—just 3 months after LIFT-LA had opened its doors at the Magnolia Place center in LA’s Pico Union neighborhood.
Shortly after his first meeting with a LIFT Advocate, he became aware of two accounting positions through LIFT-LA’s community partner, The Right Way Foundation. With the help of advocates, Jesus applied online for those jobs but as he was awaiting news, he continued to come back to LIFT once or twice a week to work on his goal of finding a job. He never once gave up.
His diligence and commitment paid off.
Jesus ended up landing a job as a customer service representative at Labor Ready Inc., a temporary employment agency. Two months later, Jesus was promoted to Sales Specialist, a job he still holds and loves because he can now pay it forward. “Most of the time, I’m out in the field, spreading the word about what Labor Ready has to offer,” says Jesus. “Labor Ready focuses on getting people employed so I feel good that I can now help others.”
Even before finding a job, Jesus credited LIFT-Los Angeles with giving him an immediate boost. He recalls, “My motivation went up. I began to think positively.” Now Jesus is working with LIFT-LA on his next two long-term goals – getting his bachelor’s degree and saving to buy his own home.
When reflecting on his how far he’s come with LIFT in his corner, Jesus wants people to know that, “…LIFT always has its doors open. Through the experience, I now believe in myself. I won’t fall into the same position I was in before… I want my story to help out. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for LIFT.”
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