It’s hard to find meaning in the monotony. For Cynny, it was nearly impossible. Going through the same, sedentary routine day after day, she struggled to find inspiration.
“I would get home from school and lay around,” she recalls. “I had no drive.”
At the time Cynny was attending City College, but that lack of motivation meant she couldn’t complete or pass a single class. She was working as a part-time babysitter and on the hunt for a more reliable source of income when her mother texted her a flyer about New Door Ventures.
Cynny attended an information session about New Door’s employment program and decided to take the leap, starting an internship at a coffee and tea house in San Francisco. She felt a mix of emotions on her first day.
“I was nervous,” she says. “I didn’t know what my tasks would be, and I was afraid that I was going to get in the way. I didn’t want to be anyone’s burden.”
Cynny quickly overcame these worries, gaining confidence through New Door’s professional development workshops.
“Before I came to New Door, professionalism was a foreign language to me” Cynny says. She especially appreciated the ability to apply what she was learning at New Door directly to her internship.
Leila, Cynny’s case manager, appreciated her energy and desire to learn.
“There were pieces of professional advice that may seem minor to some,” she says, “but Cynny would take in the feedback and apply it. She didn’t take it personally. She wanted to learn.”
One of the most impactful parts of New Door’s program for Cynny was weekly, one-on-one meetings with her case manager.
“It meant a lot to me,” she says, “It was one of the most rewarding parts of the program. [Especially] the open-door policy, [which] made it easy and convenient to meet.”
Cynny felt supported by her case manager and found that talking through her thoughts and experiences in work and life helped her grow and learn about herself.
“I learned that it’s OK to have feelings and I don’t have to feel embarrassed about them,” she says.
The combination of mentoring and professional skill-building culminated in a passion for school she’d never previously experienced. Cynny is now taking her studies at City College seriously and passing her classes. She wants to use this passion to give back to her community, ultimately working with youth or the elderly.
“I am interested in the well-being of people,” she says.
Cynny is currently participating in a program through City College called Expect Respect, promoting healthy and violence-free dating through culturally sensitive education at Bay Area high schools. She’s looking forward to not only taking what she learned from her time at New Door and putting it into action at her next job, but her motivation, energy, and inner strength as well.