"My Success Coach was a true advocate for me."
Sgt. Roman G.
I served as a Drill Instructor and Tactical Communications Specialist in the United States Army for seventeen years; in Hawaii, Germany, and other locations in Europe. After my discharge from service in 1993, I found it difficult to obtain sustainable employment. I went from having rank and leading others to being an average Joe. I thought my experience and seventeen years of service would be more recognized and appreciated when I returned home.
Under-prepared to compete with civilian job seekers, and unsure of how to translate my military skills, I went years without a permanent job. I began to give up hope. Amplifying the stress of my job instability, I became a single father of three children ranging from 18 months to 9 years old. I worked wherever I could to provide for my family and, with the help of my sister, was able to maintain a home for my children.
In October of 2014, I was assaulted and stabbed in a robbery. This left me unable to work as I underwent numerous surgeries and physical rehabilitation. Upon recovery in 2015, I visited my local Department of Labor office where I saw a flyer for KPD. I attended several KPD-facilitated workshops including logistics training, resume development, interview preparation, and individualized job development. Upon completion of a logistics course, I was hired in the Trader Joe's Distribution Center as a District Warehouse Manager where I am currently employed full-time.
I have since purchased a home and am on the road to self-sufficiency. I thank the supporters of KPD who made it possible for me to participate in this awesome program. My success coach was a true advocate for me.
"KPD has been the light in a long dark tunnel."
I served our country in the U.S. Air Force and lived in a stable, hard-working middle-class family. Unexpectedly, like so many during the recession, I lost my job. First, I was angry. Facing unemployment in my mid-forties, I felt rejected and my future felt bleak with uncertainty.
With employable skills from the Air Force, I was confident in my job search. But I was unsuccessful. I spiraled down from anger to unrelenting hopelessness—even self-destruction. At my lowest point, I was clinically depressed and had very low self-esteem.
When I was referred to KPD, my life truly changed. The staff and volunteers were incredibly respectful, supportive and resourceful. They educated me on proper image presentation. I was given the tools and resources to duplicate the work on my own. The fact is, I was shown how to fish, rather than simply given the fish. As experts in career coaching and visual presentation, I secured a job at Hertz Car Rental as a Management Trainee and now am a General Manager.
I continue to participate in the professional workshops and seminars. The wardrobe and image consultants who facilitate empower me to turn my job into a career. KPD has been the light in long, dark tunnel.
"KPD was very instrumental in my assimilation back into society."
I was released from federal custody June 10, 2010, from having served 13 years for a robbery conviction. KPD facilitated my finding adequate housing that met my requirements for probationary supervision. This was very helpful, because without their assistance my release could have been delayed substantially. Also, the housing they found for me was a stable environment that reinforced and required the tenants to attend numerous workshop classes offered.
The classes were timely and very informative. KPD offered classes that not only aided in finding work, but also in learning how to present myself professionally. A professional presentation entails being able to articulate yourself to a potential employer in a way that shows you can meet their needs as well as inform them of your own. The classes offered were very helpful in this regard. Classes were also offered in establishing and maintaining credit, the importance of credit, balancing a checkbook, saving, investment, even in selecting beneficial relationships that are healthy and productive from a social perspective.
I learned how to be myself and not intrude on others. I, now, determine what things are beneficial for me in maintaining my productivity as a community member in Atlanta, and as a citizen. My Success Coach established a relationship with my employer. Together they helped me address and correct areas of improvement that led to my advancement. An action plan was developed based upon the goals I set and the therapeutic counseling helped me address the anger and aggression I held in towards society. I am proud to say that I am now an Administrator at Interstate NationaLease, a multi-million-dollar truck leasing/maintenance company. The owner, former LT. Governor Mark Taylor, congratulates me often on my success within his organization. It is an honor to know him. I am a happily married man raising two sons, in a home I purchased in Austell, GA. I look forward to paying it forward by serving as a mentor or advisor to other young adults. It’s critical for them to see that someone, just like them, made it successfully, despite the obstacles.
"I knew it was time for a change."
At 15 years old, I met an older man and ran away with him. For four years we were homeless and I feared for my life under his physical abuse. At 18, I had my son who I call my angel; this was the day I knew it was no longer just about me.
One evening I was home caring for my son who had a fever. His father came home drunk and on drugs and began beating me. That’s when my son had a seizure due to his high temperature. We were both taken by ambulance to the hospital. I will never forget the look on my mother’s face when she saw me. My face and body were so badly beaten I was almost unrecognizable. She took my son home with her while I recovered in the hospital.
I knew it was time for a change. While on public assistance trying to get my life back together, I was referred to Kamileon Professional Development. The team of consultants looked past my flaws and saw my potential. They served me with dignity, respect, and restored my confidence and self-esteem. I would not be where I am at today without this amazing organization and my mentor, Ms. Kamila. I have grown professionally, become a better mother, and most of all have become self-sufficient.
I am now a Case Manager at Partnership Against Domestic Violence. Attending monthly Workshops to continue my professional skills is critical to my career development. I cannot thank the supporters of Kamileon Professional Development enough for supporting the program that gave me and my son a second chance at life.