Overcoming Barriers to Success through the Boys & Girls Club of Oxnard
Through a mentor, Niko found out about the Workforce Development Board of Ventura County services through the Boys & Girls Club of Oxnard. However, Niko was very apprehensive because he was facing many barriers, including being homeless, a high school dropout and a substance abuser. His tight knit group of friends discouraged positive change. In addition, he struggled to find transportation to the office.
Niko enrolled in the Boys and Girls Club’s Youth Empowerment Program (YEP), a program funded by the Workforce Development Board of Ventura County. YEP teaches youth ages 16-21 the skills needed to get a job, get back in school or stay on track to receive a high school diploma. Niko stated that he felt he was put to the test, seeing the opportunity of being in the WIA program as a challenge he needed to conquer. In spite of his many barriers, he managed not only to be on time every day, but to be diligent with his work, increasing his basic skills enough to take the GED and pass on his first attempt. Perhaps more importantly, Niko now believes in himself, has started to make positive choices in his life including surrounding himself with productive friends and he knows that he is in control of the positive outcomes in his life.
The training, skills and motivation of the Youth Empowerment Program changed Niko’s life. With his GED and new job working for the subsidized employment program called Transition Works, Niko looks forward to enrolling as a fulltime student at a community college to obtain his Associates Degree. With his new attitude and confidence, he is on the right track to an upwardly mobile life.