Young Woman Develops Job Skills for a Successful Career
Zuleyka and her family lost nearly everything after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico in the fall of 2017. Destitute and homeless, the family relocated to Maryland to build new lives. Without the means to rent an apartment, they stayed with family members.
As a teenager, Zuleyka and her father worked at a nearby chicken plant that processed raw poultry in order to provide for the family. However, her health quickly declined making the intensity and physical demands of the job unbearable. It was difficult decision for Zuleyka to leave the poultry plant since her family relied on her for financial support. Due to her lack of work experience, she had to take a low paying job at a small, local pharmacy. Zuleyka’s transformation began when she learned about the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) at Telamon.
Dina Gonzalez, a Workforce Specialist, introduced Zuleyka to NFJP and the Lower Shore Workforce Alliance Out-of-School Youth Program. These programs offer training and employment services to help people become economically self-sufficient and productive members of the community. Since her father worked in the poultry plant and she met all the requirements, Zuleyka was eligible to enroll.
Through Telamon’s NFJP program, Zuleyka received career counseling and services, and Dina played a key role. Zuleyka discovered that she wanted to become a certified Pharmacy Technician. With the assistance of her case managers, she registered for an online Certified Pharmacy Technician program. After 12 difficult months working and studying at the same time, Zuleyka completed the certification program with honors. Plus, she passed the exam required by the Maryland Board of Pharmacy. Now working as a certified Pharmacy Technician, she is a happy and successful wage earner, supporting her family and contributing to her community.