At 22, Nicky moved to San Francisco on a whim without knowing anyone here or ever visiting the city. They set their sights on San Francisco because it is a big city with job opportunities, an accepting culture, and a vibe of freedom. This is a big change from where they grew up, and Nicky was excited about the possibilities.
Nicky tried to secure a job and housing, but found it very difficult. A friend suggested they check out New Door Ventures, and Nicky started the employment program soon after. At first, they struggled to meet New Door’s requirements to arrive on time, be prepared, and work hard. “I wasn’t ready. I had to grow more.” After a few weeks at New Door, Nicky exited the program and decided to try again in a few months with a fresh start.
Three months later, they returned ready to conquer New Door’s training program and internship. This time, it was different. Nicky was a leader in their cohort, encouraging their peers and excelling at their internship. A few months into the internship, Nicky took on the additional responsibility of training new interns. They were excelling both at their internship and in workshop – It’s hard to believe they ever had trouble in the program before.
Nicky worked hard during their time at New Door, and appreciates the support they received, especially from their case manager, Emma. When Nicky needed glasses, Emma took them to get a new pair. Nicky and Emma met weekly during the 14-week program to discuss current concerns and next steps to put Nicky on a path towards success.
Now that Nicky has graduated from New Door’s employment program, they are attending college and focusing on their art. One of their paintings hangs at New Door, next to Emma’s desk – a constant reminder of the value of dedication and second chances.