Success Story:
NFJP Teen Thrives in Academics and Community Leadership Despite Setbacks from the Pandemic

Yadira, North Carolina

Yadira Paz Martinez learned about Telamon-TRC and the National Farmworker Job Program (NFJP) through an outreach event at Sampson Community College in Clinton, NC. A dependent of farmworkers, her mother worked long hours in a hog nursery for several years. During her assessment at Telamon’s Workforce and Career Services office in Dunn, NC, her case manager recognized that Yadira was an upstanding and ambitious student. Not only did Yadira tutor at her high school, she also tutored at Sampson Community College where was she was taking early college courses. Prior to Covid-19, she demonstrated leadership in numerous after school programs, such as Student Government Association, Key Club, Beta Club, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Program and the Migrant Education Program. Plus, Yadira volunteered at a local nursing home and food banquets, donating items to monthly food pantry collections. She was on her way to a successful future.

In 2020, Yadira was accepted into the Governor’s School of North Carolina, a competitive and rigorous residential summer program for gifted and talented high school students from across the state. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Yadira was forced to adapt quickly to a different way of schooling and working. Her mother was unable to work due to being quarantined, resulting in a financial hardship for the family. Since Yadira was no longer able to tutor students, she pursued part-time work as a cashier at the local grocery store. Even though the NC Governors Summer Program was eventually cancelled, Yadira maintained a 3.9 GPA at Union High School and she finished her first year with Sampson Community College. Her resilient spirit proved that nothing could set her back.

"Thank you, Telamon, for nominating me in the 20 under 20 LatinxED and the Governor's NCWorks Award for Outstanding Teen. Without your support, this would not have been possible. In spite 2020's setbacks with Covid-19 Pandemic, I can't wait to see what my future holds!"

In May of 2020, Yadira’s case manager nominated Yadira for two awards: LatinxED’s North Carolina 20 Under 20 and 2020 Governor’s NCWorks Awards of Distinction for Outstanding Teen. Due to Yadira’s amazing achievements, she won both awards! A senior in high school, she will graduate in May 2021 with a high school diploma and an associate degree. She aspires to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Political Science & Economics at UNC Chapel Hill or Duke University in the fall of 2021. Yadira’s persistence, hard work and leadership is an example to teens all over the country!

Telamon-TRC’s Workforce & Career Services encompasses a broad array of customized work readiness and job skill training programs, focusing on helping farmworkers, and youth who seek to build skills and career paths. Work readiness and job skill development are often supplemented by language services (ESL), educational support (GED) and includes one-on-one counseling, group workshops and supportive services. 

Since 1965 Telamon-TRC has helped individuals like you access services that lead to better jobs, better lives, and better communities. Find a Workforce & Career Services program near you today.