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Creative Arts * Creative Education * Creative Therapies

Emiliano Finds His Passion in Media Arts Program
October 2021

Brighter Futures For Youth Employment
Program Participants

June 2021

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Our Youth Employment Program case manager, Elizabeth, recently reported this success story about a very special participant and her college journey. “Angelica C. is one of our Youth Employment Program participants that overcame several challenges within herself and learned to believe in her abilities. Most importantly, Angelica gained a better outlook on life. During my first couple of meetings with Angelica, she shared that she was unsure what she wanted to do in terms of school and career; she felt lost and had given up on her dream of becoming a teacher. Angelica was very doubtful and believed that she was not capable of returning to school. Angelica attended Santa Ana College right after graduating from high school but felt that she was not prepared for college-level classes and dropped out. This cycle of registering for classes and dropping out mid-way was continuous and eventually affected her GPA and her chances of obtaining financial aid. Angelica saw her options diminished and decided to give up on returning to school. She did not have the funds to cover school supplies and textbooks.” Elizabeth continues, “Angelica’s participation in YEP has definitely made an impact on her by pushing her out of her comfort zone. At OCCTAC, she had the opportunity to work as a teacher’s assistant with the Early Start & Pre-Kinder program by helping young children during free play and story time. YEP staff then guided her in the process of returning back to college and informed her of financing options, such as the California College Promise Grant (BOG Fee Waiver) and the FAFSA application. Angelica was surprised to learn about the various financial assistance options and slowly began to regain interests in going back to school. YEP helped her with purchasing course textbooks and scheduled weekly tutoring for her where she received assistance with class assignments. As a tutor, I walked her through her homework problems and explained each step until I noticed that she grasped the concept. I encouraged her to ask questions and discuss where she felt confused so that we can work together to build a better understanding. YEP has challenged Angelica to believe in herself and has motivated her to not settle for anything less. Although she started the program later in the year, Angelica has demonstrated maturity and personal growth in a short period of time. She is no longer afraid to seek help and ask questions. In fact, Angelica is open to advice and shows an interest in learning and bettering herself. In one way or another, the Youth Employment Program served as a second opportunity for Angelica and helped her gain the confidence that she had lost. Angelica’s goal is to graduate from Santa Ana College and transfer to university where she can continue pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher. I am positive that Angelica will achieve anything she sets her mind to and, here at OCCTAC, we are all proud of everything she has accomplished so far!”

YEP Participant Aims High As
First Generation College Student

March 2021

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“My name is Tanya Santana. I am currently attending Santa Ana College where I am majoring in Child Development. I am participating in the Youth Employment Program at OCCTAC, where I am taking Office Clerk classes and gaining office work experience. In addition to that, I am working with the Early Start and Pre-Kinder Program as a teacher’s assistant. I enjoy working with younger children and assisting the teacher with arts and craft activities as well as snack time. For my office work experience, I was given the opportunity to work with the front desk and help with answering calls, registering students to the various classes that OCCTAC offers, and making payments on the computer. The Youth Employment Program has helped me in so many ways, one being that I am gaining work experience in both a pre-kinder and office setting. As a first-generation student going into college, I didn’t know a lot of things such as how to register for classes or apply for financial aid, but Jennifer, the Career Counselor, has helped me and answered all the questions I had. Elizabeth, my Case Manager, has also helped me a lot with tutoring, assisting me with working on papers for my English class, building a resume, and she has also provided guidance as I transition within the program and with whatever I need outside of OCCTAC. One short term goal of mine is to get my certificate in Child Development, and my long-term goal is to become a teacher and work with younger children.”

The program mission of OCCTAC’s Youth Employment Program (YEP) is to provide youth with tools needed to successfully transition into the workforce, further their education, and reach their true work potential by providing our participants with PAID work experience and training.

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