Y.O.U. employs many diverse, talented people who bring varied skills to our organization.
Y.O.U. Case Managers play a very important role in our work: They are among the first people a young adult meets when he or she engages with our organization. Their empathy and knowledge of our programs, young adults’ lives, and the opportunities we can make available to them play a critical role in their success.
“Case Managers change lives and advocate for individuals still learning who they are,” says Case Manager Tyrinda Turner. “When participants make the choice to enter into Y.O.U’s program, no one knows what hurdles they had to get over just to walk into the doors.”
Case managers listen and offer a safe space for young adults to feel comfortable discussing their lives. They provide positivity, encouragement and mentoring while young adults attempt to obtain job skills, credentialed pathway training and employment. They help them overcome barriers, like financial hardships, family adversity, lack of education, domestic violence, mental health challenges and substance abuse issues — any challenge that could keep young adults from success.
“Our phones are not cut off at 4:30 pm, and we often see [young adults] on weekends,” Turner says. “Life doesn’t only happen between 8 am-4:30 pm. A dedicated Case Manager knows that, and for that reason, we make ourselves available around the clock. For many, the struggles are real, from homelessness to living below poverty level. Some have children that they are trying to manage without support from the other parent let alone their own parents. Case Managers know it all and guide them through it all. We answer our phones long after the work day has ended, whether we’re exhausted or not, and we strategize lives that are not our own. We hold hands, wipe tears, scold, and mold on a daily basis.”
The Y.O.U. Case Management team includes 12 people who connect and support young adults as they participate in Day One, Year-Round Work Experience, and Summer Work programs.
“I take the time to help young adults with saving money, using coupons, starting a checking/saving account, sending text messages concerning hot items that may be on sale,” says Case Manager Sherena Frazier-Miller. “I make sure they have the overall understanding of basic life skills and the steps needed to help them in daily living.”
“Earlier this month, I accompanied a young adult to the OMJ building for Aspire’s GED orientation,” says Case Manager Alexandra Ritt. “This young lady is struggling and facing multiple barriers, but she is smart and capable. I wished her luck, and as I went to leave her, she said, in total disbelief, ‘I’m still so shocked I actually showed up.’ I told her, ‘I’m not.’”
Every young adult who comes through Y.O.U.’s doors desires to improve his or her life. Case Managers help them navigate challenges on their road to get there.
“The happy moment for me is seeing the success once they complete the program and work the new job they attended training for,” Frazier-Miller says. “Once I see the smiling faces at the graduation, I feel good knowing I helped make a difference in someone’s life.”