Opportunity leader finds success through job training, education, and hard work•
My name is Jaquail Hayes. I am 20 years old and I am an Opportunity Leader. I grew up in Sacramento, California for the first eleven years of my life before moving to San Francisco. I had family struggles and personal issues during this time, and dropped out of high school. But I managed to pull through it and am now trying to better myself and do more positive things with my life. I decided to do this because I wanted to be an example for my family, and do the best that I could for our future.
I recently attended a trade program at the San Francisco Conservation Corps where I learned landscaping and carpentry. While I was there, I learned skills that lead me towards my dream career in environmental design or as an owner of an eco-friendly company.
I also worked at The Farmers Market for four months this year through New Door Ventures, a San Francisco nonprofit that works with young adults who are disconnected from school and work. The Farmers Market was one of the best jobs I ever had. I loved working outdoors and learned a lot about different kinds of soil – a topic that interests me. The experience has prompted me to look for a job with the city’s parks and recreation department.
New Door Ventures has been very helpful for me and my professional development, and through the program I am also working toward receiving my G.E.D. – another service offered by the program. New Door helps teens and young adults find paid internships, offers job readiness and skill-building workshops, and builds a supportive community that includes one-on-one case managers to help youth transition to adulthood.
New Door is providing me with excellent tutoring and support. I want to pass the test on my first try so I am studying hard right now. The people at New Door are genuine, and anybody would be lucky to be in the program.
Economic opportunity is important for young people like me because we need job training and education to move forward with our lives. New Door has helped me to meet new people, gain job experience and learn about different careers. It is important for all youth to have these types of opportunities, and to serve as examples in their communities.
To me, opportunity means a chance for a better tomorrow.
I hope to be help the national movement to expand opportunity through my involvement with Opportunity Nation and am excited for what will come.