Introducing a new way of life: Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)

Jul 30, 2023

An Atlanta CEO participant reflects on the many opportunities offered in the CEO program and the difference those opportunities made.

CEO Participant

While at first it seemed overwhelming, with the help of CEO, Jessica “Drew” Umberfer reflects on the ability to make the most of what was offered to transition to a new way of life.

“When I first came into the program it was like full force ahead. It’s like— we got this crew, we got this crew, and we got this crew here. They helped with resume-building, and creating resumes in general— some people had never had a resume their whole life. They offer different types of training at the Center. For example, I did training for computers where I learned basic skill sets to navigate that technology that I had never learned before. CEO told me I was going to have to have two things: a home— an address/residence and a job. “Without those two things, you will go back to prison.” So they were there for my transition back into the community. I didn’t know much, the life I lived before that was a mom life… and the life before that was a life of crime and drugs. So they introduced me to a new way of life and really walked me through it. 

Sometimes I look back on all that I’ve been able to do and I get so tired. Like how did I do what I did? How was I able to make so much happen for myself? It was crazy. Then I think— anybody could do what I did. I mean seriously, there’s nothing spectacular… I just took advantage of the opportunities that were made available to me and I applied myself. That’s it.”

Akirah reaches her goal of becoming a homeowner

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Akirah reaches her goal of becoming a homeowner

With the help of Compass Working Capital’s leverage of the FSS program, Akirah was able to build savings and get access to resources to reach her goals.