“My favorite part was my first graduation and seeing the guy’s faces. There was one guy who didn’t graduate high school and he just wanted his mother to see him graduate something-- and it just so happened to be our program. So that’s been my favorite part so far.”
It is an exciting time for our Job & Leadership Training program as we have many new and enthusiastic team members as well as our largest JLT class to date. With our fall session in full swing, we wanted to take some time to introduce one of our new team members as well as update you on our latest JLT session. In the recent months we have added five new faces to our Beyond Jobs team including our new Beyond Jobs Operations Manager, SJ (Shamara) Stephens.
SJ has an extensive background working and walking with underserved people and communities in our city. She came to us from SLATE (St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment), but previously worked as a police officer in St. Louis City’s 7th District, as a social worker with Hamilton County Job and Family Services and as a foster care case manager for the St. Louis City Family Drug Court. With such an amazing repertoire of experience, SJ brings not only a wealth of knowledge and skill, but also a compassionate heart for the people she gets to serve.
Having grown up in North St. Louis City, SJ has always sought out positions where she could truly help her community. Having previously heard Beyond Jobs Director, Jason Watson, speaking about Mission: St. Louis at a conference, she jumped at the chance when the Operations Manager Position became available. In working here, SJ really believes she is making a difference in the lives of our JLT men and in turn, the city of St. Louis. Her hope is that we would continue to grow and serve more men (and women!) as JLT continues to thrive. We couldn’t agree more.
SJ is sweet, caring, fiercely strong and carries with her an ability to bring out the best in each person she meets. We are extremely excited to have her here at Mission: St. Louis.
Fall 2018 JLT: Our Biggest Class Ever!
With 35 students enrolled in our 14-month program, with 5 new internship sites secured for our men and 15 new volunteer mentors, this class of JLT men is making history. With new internship sites secured and more JLT mentors, we will be able to better place men with their work preferences and open up new opportunities for gainful employment.
In recent weeks, JLT students attended orientation, several classes and with the support of our staff and their families, have completed their internship interviews. Each student was given the opportunity to meet with every internship site partner and interview for various positions. This week training and working at internships begins.
With so much good news, we are excited for more.
More men, more stories and more lives transformed.