The Hope Builders Student Journey: First Step Applicant

student journey

This past year, over 1,000 young adults expressed an interest in Hope Builders’ training programs. To date, 449 have submitted applications.

Vetting and screening each candidate is the difficult task of the Admissions team. Applicants must show they are ready for change by filling out an application, showing right-to-work documents, passing a drug test and participating in an interview. “Everyone’s timeline is different,” Ericka Rios-Streitz, Admissions Manager, states. “Not everyone is ready to take on our training program when they apply. It’s our job to work with them individually to help them get ready.”

For some this means they need a referral to a community partner for housing or mental health services. For others, who are nervous about the rigorous coursework, staff connects them to a Hope Builders’ tutor.

“The last thing we want is for someone to feel overwhelmed. We are here to provide support and one day hope to see them all become Hope Builders,” Ericka continues. 

Later today Hope Builders will gather to celebrate the young men and women, who have demonstrated their readiness to launch careers by successfully completing the healthcare or construction training. Albert, a construction graduate, will speak at tonight’s advancement ceremony. Albert came to Hope Builders at the recommendation of his fiancé, a program graduate. While incarcerated Albert made it his goal to enroll in Hope Builders to pursue his dream of becoming a carpenter. Albert’s eagerness, motivation and determination were evident during his interview with Ericka.

Immediately following his successful training completion, Hope Builders Career Connections (Hope Builders’ social enterprise) connected Albert to a job with Yocom Construction, earning $20.30/hour.  Albert recently shared, “Today I know I make my fiancé and daughter proud. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me reach my goals.”

Hope Builders continues to serve as a beacon of hope to the 29,000 young adults in Orange County who are out of work and out of school. To ensure its training best prepares trainees to meet the needs of local employers, Hope Builders continuously strives to improve performance and refine program delivery. With your support we will continue to empower young adults, like Albert, with the tools they need to connect to life-changing career opportunities. Thank you for making this possible.