Cara Chicago is a 2019 grantee in the Christopher Family Foundation’s Employment & Entrepreneurship program area. This story was written by Robert, a Cara participant, and contributed by Cara Chicago staff.
One of the reasons I came to Cara was because I knew I had some barriers that I never had to deal with before. I would be getting some resources and partners that are background friendly.
Having an opportunity to come into the program and demonstrate some excellence instead of someone vouching for you with no observation or evaluation period I thought would be a good fit. And it has.
I have a strong affinity for the curriculum because it deals with so much more than the occupational pursuits. It deals with some of the things that hinder people from maintaining good relationships on the job and understanding their own personal issues that played a role in how you relate when dealing with conflict. That part of the curriculum, I am absolutely in love with because I believe those things are relevant. They are so relevant in the workplace for lasting and permanent success.
You can never stop learning, and that will put you right back into the routine of the job search. I am strategically looking for employment and not just looking for any job. I want to get to a place where I have a passion and purpose.
I can’t think of anything else that is as important as me reaching my goals. A lot of my goals are tangible and some are intangible and have to do with character.
Three words that describe me are vigilant, focused, and very serious about this stage of my life. I’m turning a corner. When you drive a car and turn corners, a lot of times you have to put two hands on the wheel. You have to be focused when you are turning corners making this transition. I don’t think there is a place for me to be complacent any time soon.
At Cara and in life, it is about understanding that even having second and third chances, I didn’t get here on my own. It is about understanding the need I have for support and that I don’t have to make decisions without counsel. I need other people in my decision process. Some decisions you make are life changing and life lasting.
A lot of things motivate me now like my inner drive to be the best me that I can be. I love being a father. I see the smile on my mother’s face. The only thing we take out of this life is the contribution we make to someone else’s life.
Update: Robert was hired last month for the position of Case Manager at A Safe Haven. Working in social services is Robert’s passion and he is thrilled to have this opportunity to serve others. In the photo, Robert is “Ringing the Bell,” a Cara ritual that participants perform when they secure a job.