Community Action WIA gradAt 20 years of age with a lack of employment history, Jernae Hooks’ future job prospects looked bleak. But with the help of some dedicated staff and a positive outlook from Jernae, she’s moving forward to securing a brighter future for herself.

Kelly Fallon from Beloit Memorial High School started working with Jernae and referred her to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program and Nicole Pfundheller, WIA Case Manager at the Community Action Pathways Center.

“Jernae came into the program with poise, determination, and a set of goals that she developed for herself,” Nicole said. “She was excited to work, but had not held any gainful employment up to that time.”

Together Nicole and Jernae found a work site for her so she could complete her work experience and become acclimated to the workforce. After successfully completing that work experience, Jernae worked on career development goals and learned about the federal financial aid system and how to apply to various colleges. Her most important immediate goal, though, was to graduate from high school with her diploma, which she accomplished in January 2015.

“WIA has helped me and continues to help me to succeed…I am very grateful for this program,” Jernae said.

Jernae is not done working with Nicole or WIA yet. She is currently registering for college for this summer and is excited to be taking some general education courses. Although she’s undecided what career path she wants to pursue at this time, she’s following her dreams, and WIA will continue to provide support for her future endeavors.