Voices of Hope – Jeremy S.

After years of struggling with drug addiction and unemployment, I was finally ready to make a change in my life. While serving time at Baker Correctional Institution, I heard about Operation New Hope’s Ready4Work program, so I decided to enroll at their St. Augustine location when I got out.

The Ready4Work program helped me so much to prepare for the interview process. In the past, I have had a lot of anxiety when interviewing. I would get so nervous that I would feel sick before the interview. The thing about it is you have to mark that box on the application, and I would worry about how to explain about my criminal record. But that isn’t an issue after going through Ready4Work, because Operation New Hope’s Employment Partners already know about that and are willing to hire you any way. Also being able to practice during mock interviews, I gained the confidence I needed to overcome my anxiety.

And it worked! After graduating from the Ready4Work program, I had two interviews that went really well. And that felt so good because I hadn’t worked in so long. I accepted the job working in the facilities department for St. Johns County Council on Aging. I love working here. Everyone is so appreciative when I do something well. I have never had that in a job before. I also have independence to do my own thing. I stay so busy that the day goes by quickly.

I’ve been here a little over 3 months and everything is going great. I’ve already met my first goal – my wife and I have moved into our own apartment in downtown St. Augustine just around the corner from the Lightner Museum. We’re so happy.

To anyone considering the Ready4Work program, I would say definitely enroll. Operation New Hope is bound to help you, especially if you haven’t had a job in a while. It’s a great refresher course that will prepare you for any kind of interview.

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