By Jennifer Weggeman and Marianne Eisley
This client’s name has been changed for privacy/safety concerns
“I first met Alexis at a local state representative job fair in Spring 2018 and she made an immediate impression knowing exactly what she wanted out of life,” Jennifer Weggeman, Workshop/Outreach Facilitator at workNet DuPage stated. Soon after, at a weekly onsite job search meeting at a local safe house for domestic violence survivors, she saw Alexis again. Recognizing that she was in a major transition, Alexis postponed her Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) next steps until she secured safe housing at Bridge Communities.
Once she got connected with Bridge Communities Alexis found a wonderful team of mentors there and created a career vision / career planning binder to figure out her future. With two kids, Alexis knew she needed a supportive community for her to reach her full potential so she could attend school to reach a higher income to support herself and her family as a young single mom. She had grown up seeing both her mom and grandmother struggle and knew she wanted a different experience for her and her kids.
Alexis said “They advised me to take the Career Vision Test in Glen Ellyn to make sure Information Technology was a good fit for me. The counselor Peg Hendershot gathered my results and explained them to my mentors and myself. It was then my job to research each career that the test matched me with and decide which one best fit my needs and lifestyle. Computer Systems Analyst was on the top of my list and after doing the research I felt it was the best fit for me.” Alexis scored above average on all her testing (Ball Aptitude Battery Profile Report) and concluded that she would do best in the IT field based on her career assessment results, which she found extremely helpful.
Her mentor, Julie Algrem, says Alexis is “extremely driven to succeed and to provide the best life possible for her children. She is very open to feedback and loves to learn new life skills, as well as focus on her degree studies. She is such a pleasure to mentor given her optimism and enthusiasm.”
Marianne Eisley, her Career Counselor at workNet DuPage, worked with her client to see how the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) training program could assist her in Alexis’s desired career path of IT. Marianne joyfully encouraged and supported Alexis through the process and Adela Meitz, Workforce Development Specialist at COD coordinated with workNet and Bridge Communities to help Alexis navigate questions and enrollment in appropriate courses.
"She will move around major life obstacles, even domestic violence, to keep going towards her career goals."
Alexis was enrolled in Computer Information Systems – Associate of Applied Science - Softw which will be a pathway to software development and design. Graduating in 2020, she will also accomplish a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree from Lewis University with the College of DuPage 3+1 program and will be the second in her family to graduate from college.
Alexis started COD classes in Spring 2019 and has received 2 A’s in IT classes and is on her way to a fantastic future in a high demand field. She is working at a local restaurant chain to earn money while in school.
Career Counselor Marianne Eisley, who has been working with Alexis since October 2018 states that “Whenever we meet, Alexis is always smiling!” and “She is so resilient, very bright and energized by life even though she has been through a lot in her young life.”
“Having a client like Alexis is very inspiring; nothing upsets her and she keeps wanting to move forward. She will move around major life obstacles, even domestic violence, to keep going towards her career goals.”
All the partners at workNet DuPage are looking forward to seeing Alexis succeed!