Last year, Jacqueline immigrated to the United States from El Salvador to be with her family and to pursue a career in pharmacy. As grateful as she was for the opportunity to move, she felt disoriented in a new country and was unsure where to start when applying for jobs. After learning about New Door online, Jacqueline realized the program was perfect for her, as she wanted to continue to pursue her education while gaining work experience.
Jacqueline’s knowledge and confidence in herself grew during her time in the Employment Program. Every week, she practiced her English skills with her case manager, Jenny, and other interns in her cohort.
“Jacqueline is always willing to learn and put in the effort,” Jenny says. “I admire her motivation and determination to keep moving forward and not let a language barrier stand in the way of her goals.”
Jacqueline graduated from New Door’s Employment Program in summer 2018 and continues to meet with Jenny once a week. She recounted the following about her journey at New Door:
I was attending college in El Salvador, studying chemistry and pharmacy, when I received my visa to enter the United States in 2017. I was thrilled, as this meant that I would be able to reunite with my father and my family. I think that God gave me this opportunity to help me pursue my goals.
After moving to San Francisco, I started taking classes at the City College of San Francisco. I was also looking for a job. However, I didn’t know how to make a resume and I wasn’t sure what steps to take when applying for jobs. After searching online for help, I can across the New Door Ventures website. I came in for an interview and felt nervous, so I brought a friend to support me. I wanted to have a new experience, and I didn’t want my English skills to hold me back. My goal when starting New Door was to get a job and learn new things.
For my internship, I was a nursery assistant at The Presidio Nursery. I thrived in the work environment and learned from the friendly staff how to care for and nurture plants. My case manager, Jenny, supported me throughout my internship. She would encourage me to step out of my comfort zone and practice my English in work and my day to day life. She also assisted me with job applications and perfecting my resume. In workshops I learned about teamwork and I strengthened my communication skills. I enjoyed being part of a cohort and making new friends, whom I still talk with. We were a quiet cohort, but we had connection and unity.
My biggest challenge was speaking in public, as I am still learning English. I didn’t feel judged at New Door and felt comfortable sharing my thoughts with my case manager and my cohort. Since I’m still learning English, customer service was a challenge for me. However, I am working hard every day to improve. My biggest accomplishment was being hired at The Presidio Nursery as a nursery technician. This will allow me to continue to practice speaking English and working on my customer service skills. I am in my last semester at City College which will lead me to receiving my certificate as a pharmacy technician.
Although my three-month internship has ended, I am still involved with New Door as they support and encourage me to achieve my goals. I see my case manager, Jenny, once a week. She helps with projects and my English skills. I would encourage other youth to join New Door because they are an open community with many opportunities. I am thankful for everything New Door has done for me.