Victoria V. came to Community Teamworks’s YouthBuild program in June of 2012. She was 17 years old, pregnant, and on probation. Victoria was committed to turning her life around and was in need of a second chance. Her probation officer agreed to relieve her from probation if she achieved her GED. Determined to graduate before her baby was born, Victoria did just that! She achieved her GED and fulfilled the terms of her probation. Victoria is now enrolled at the Lowell Hair Academy and is dedicated to providing a better life for herself and her new family.
Jasmine Delgado, 20, first became homeless at age 9 when she spent five months at a shelter in Connecticut with her mother. In 2013, Jasmine moved in with her father when her mother left for Lowell. When her father told her he needed to find somewhere else to stay because he could no longer pay rent, Jasmine called her mother. Jasmine and her three year-old daughter, Jenadie, moved to Lowell last February to stay with her mother in a single room. This single mother had just returned to Massachusetts from Connecticut, determined to create a better life for herself and her daughter.
Jasmine managed to get her GED on August 3, 2017 and earned the Student of the Year Award upon graduation. She discovered Community Teamwork’s YouthBuild Program and soon became part of a new emerging Culinary Training program. Through this program, Jasmine has helped to grow Community Teamwork’s Farmers’ Market and has become a tremendous resource to the culinary instructor. Jasmine’s leadership and professional skills have grown tremendously. She has become an invaluable part of the culinary program. Jasmine helps to bridge the gap between the instructor and the students in the program. As our culinary intern, she has supported other students through tutoring, encouraging their participation, and as a role model for professional growth. She received her OSHA 10, NCCER, SERVSAFE and allergen training and
is now a part of the ACF (Accredited Culinary Federation) curriculum and will be receiving an accredited certificate for culinary. She is currently working as an intern with Two Chefs Catering and will be starting another internship with Cobblestones Restaurant in the near future. In addition, Jasmine was chosen the 2018 YouthBuild AmeriCorps Spirit of Service Member of the Year.
Though she has overcome many obstacles from a young age, Jasmine was afraid that she could once again find herself in a shelter. “I’m scared because they tell me I can be placed anywhere in Massachusetts,” she said. “That’s the thing that worries me because my daughter has been going to the same school for a year and I want her to stay at the same school and I don’t want to change things. I want her to have that stability.”
With the help of Community Teamwork, Jasmine was able to get her first apartment this past July and was thrilled to celebrate her daughter’s 4th birthday in their very own home! With first-hand knowledge of being homeless and living in a shelter, she took part in panels with other homeless youth during a Youth Homelessness Summit hosted by Community Teamwork this past June. The day-long event was part of CTI’s new concerted effort to tackle this issue.
Jasmine has had her daughter enrolled at the Parker Avenue site since June of 2017. While attending the program, Jasmine has
been able to receive transportation services through the school. Jasmine’s daughter was enrolled at the Parker Avenue site because of their transportation needs and where they were living at the time. When the family moved in to their own apartment in June, Jasmine was able to transfer her daughter to a new center while also keeping her transportation. This was very important to Jasmine as she has no other means of transportation. Now at the Houlares Center, Jasmine’s daughter is transported to and from school. With her daughter being at school every day, Jasmine is able to continue her work in both of her internships.
Jasmine exemplifies the ideals of hard work, perseverance, commitment and follow through. She has learned the personal benefit of these qualities and has adopted them into the very fabric of her life. Jasmine stands out as a leader and role model among her peers but it is her strength and her positive spirit that shine through.