Mariah dropped out of high school and was unemployed with no work experience, which left her struggling to support herself and her four-year-old son.

At 21, she thought she was too old to try to complete her high school diploma, and despite applying for a plethora of jobs, she was unable to find employment.

“My living situation was unstable and emotionally unhealthy for me and my son; I wanted more out of life for the both of us,” she stated.

“Every company that I applied to said that I needed work experience. I did not know how I was going to get the experience I needed to stand on my own two feet,” she continued.

Mariah was referred to CalWORKs Youth Employment Program (CYEP), which specializes in placing young people into paid work experience with local employers.

She began work readiness training, offered by the Workforce Development Board, and was placed in a job as an administrative assistant at Athens Services. When the six-month work experience came to an end, Mariah was hired on a full time basis.

“I am so grateful that these people believed in me, stuck by me, and changed my life in a positive way forever,” said Mariah. “I can now provide a better life for me and my son. I would like to thank the WDB and Athens Services for all of their help and for believing in me.”