Valley Glen - - Before a room full of exhuberant relatives and friends, 21 members of Job Training’s LA Fellows program celebrated their graduation Friday at Los Angeles Valley College.
Project Director Allison Silver praised the graduates for their openness to the lessons presented and willingness to work hard, telling the graduates, “I’m especially proud of how each of you has personally taken on the role of ambassador to our nonprofit partners and the community at large. Thank you for putting in the hard work necessary to secure employment and be LA Fellows success stories.”
Selected by their peers, graduates Maureen Lestelle and Janet Walters spoke to the group. Ms. Lestelle talked about the closeness of the group, saying, “We became empowered and, more importantly, empowered each other, and supported each other and encouraged each other. We had each other’s backs and found our voices that we had lost.”
Fellow Janet Walters thanked each of the instructors for their contributions and cited many of the lessons taught. She thanked her classmates, saying, “Thank you for freely sharing your experience, guidance, and your knowledge. Because of your contributions, we are experiencing career successes now and we have many more on the horizon.”
Two of the graduates in attendance were examples of those successes. Chely Cordova was recently hired for an administrative assistant role with Child Care Resource Center, a position found through the hidden job market, a topic of instruction LA Fellows focuses on during training. Richard Tom landed two paid positions: a part-time job as program manager with the California Minority Counsel Program, whose mission is increasing opportunities for minority and women attorneys in the legal profession; and a contract position as a Pro Tem Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings, California Department of General Services.
LA Fellows is a program for career growth through specialized training and volunteerism, aimed at mid-career professionals seeking employment. Each participant must attend an informational orientation, submit an application, and interview with program staff; this session, out of more than 100 applicants, 21 were chosen and completed the 140 hours of classroom training. As part of the program, LA Fellows also complete 100 hours of volunteer work with a non-profit organization.
The next cohort is slated to begin July 8, with orientations beginning May 8. For more information, visit the LA Fellows website: www.lafellows.org.
The Graduating Class