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Jimmy Castro: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities with Project ESTEEM

Challenges

Jimmy Castro enrolled in the Project ESTEEM (CalGRIP) program with a host of barriers to overcome. As a 24 year-old man, he was already overcoming the obstacles of being an ex-offender and young father who did not finish high school. However, Jimmy turned his obstacles into opportunities.

Solutions

During his time in the program Jimmy has taken advantage of every workshop and opportunity for growth the program has presented him. He is never late to his workshops and treats them with the upmost importance. Through his hard work and dedication, Jimmy was able to be a two time graduate of the Toast Masters Public Speaking program which is sponsored by Project ESTEEM (CalGRIP). Jimmy has even been chosen on many occasions to speak on behalf of the program at special events. He would tell you that before Toast Masters and this program, he would not have been able to stand before a group of his peers and speak publicly.

Success

Jimmy has been so touched by this program he wanted to give back by teaching his own workshop entitled “Street Smarts.” He facilitates the workshop with a fellow program participant. He usually has at least fifteen participants in his class. His peers are all in agreement that he presents a class that is well worth attending. Jimmy has great artistic talent and is interested in graphic arts. Currently, he is working through the work experience program at the City of Pasadena’s print shop. Jimmy’s supervisors continue to rave about his excellent work ethics and dependability. He is always ready and willing to do what he is asked, and takes the initiative to see where he can be of help. Jimmy has enrolled at Pasadena’s City College Skills Center and is looking forward to achieving his high school diploma.

Submitted by Foothill Workforce Development Board, Pasadena, CA
August 1, 2013