Widny  – 2014 Employee of the Year Award Winner

Widny – 2014 Employee of the Year Award Winner

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My family is from Haiti actually. My mom
my dad’s family are from Haiti. I actually grew up in Jersey so North Jersey. I
wasn’t fitting in class. I wasn’t going to class every day. I was skipping
when I went to school. I really didn’t have too much friends. I was just depressed. I
was a mess. My parents decided to ship me to California. I did not know it was
one-way ticket, so my dad tricked me. He told me I’m gonna be spending winter
break vacation here in California with my uncle and my cousin. Got on the
plane with my uncle and we arrived here and three days later they’re like, “you’re
gonna be here permanently.” I felt like “why would you do this to me. I’m your
only son,” and it was just a really hard time. Even though San Francisco is a
beautiful place, I just stayed home, just stayed in my bed, just cried all the time.
I was just alone. The shift was basically JVS. I’m 19, you know, about to be
20, and I didn’t want to still be in high school, you know, it’s not a good
look. When I first met Whitney, I knew it was his first semester at
Downtown High School. I didn’t realize he had just relocated with a one-way ticket
from New Jersey. I think it was the right place at the right time situation. To a
degree we were able to softened Whitney’s landing in San Francisco. He
immediately was able to connect with the program, to meet people through that
program. He was close to graduation at that point so to help him figure out,
“okay, not only are you in a new place, but you have a pretty big transition coming
up right around the corner,” and helping him navigate that. The first time I went to
JVS, I met John and Danielle and they were talking about how to get help with
financial aid and stuff like that, when you transition into college. How to ask
for help when you need to write, like, essays and everything like that.
Once I stayed with the program, I realized, you know, “this is a good program because
John is gonna be helping you get through school and Danielle is gonna help you
find a job,” and at that time I didn’t have a job. So one of the benefits of the
school partner program is that two pronged approach of the academic support
and the employment support. We’re able to help students kind of figure out what
their interests are, how they want to balance both academics and employment,
and then help them sort of see that out. Danielle actually help me find open jobs,
like, jobs that were hiring. She would spend hours and hours with me just
working on resumes, cover letters, and introducing me to different workshops
that can help me build confidence, and she tried her best to help me help me
find a job. JVS is a great partner. When we first started, they were wonderful.
Actually worked with me prior to our hiring event, found out exactly what our
needs were, and bringing in some top quality candidates to our hiring event and
actually provided space for us, free of charge. We were able to conduct a
presentation, followed by group interviews, and JVS; the staff there was
superb. Very helpful in logistics and also, like I said, making sure those
candidates came in ready with great interview skills and excited for the
opportunity. So Danielle called me a few weeks in advance. She was like,” Widny,
hey, this is what you to do. You need to wear all black, you need to have
confidence, energy, smile, go on their website, check out what they’re about,
check out everything about them so once you go to an interview you’re ready. You know
about the company, you know at least something about the company.” So she
prepared me for the interview. the JVS clientele is very well prepared
when it comes to the interview as we saw with Widny. He came prepared with that smile
on his face so we know that he did his research, and we know that JVS helped him
to prepare to really nail that interview. I was ready
and I got the job. So Widny is one of our higher level associates here. He has
responsibilities on the shop floor, everything from markdowns, promotions,
replenishment, and now that he’s a higher level associate, starting to train newer
associates as well. They’re perfectionists, so everything has
to be perfect, and I love working at Uniform because of they stand for.
Widny 100% deserves the Employee of the Year Award because when he comes to
work, he shows up to work. So I graduated high school when I was 19 and JVS,
they gave me all the help I needed to transition into college. Widny
transitioned to City College in the fall semester. We did a lot of one-on-one
support with applications, the financial aid process, and then class registration.
So looking at a calendar, a sort of sample weekly calendar, mapping at which
classes he might want to take, when he would want to take them, figuring out if
he was going to be working, and balancing that. So it was a lot of both navigating
the transition, and then also figuring out those details. He gave me all the
help that I needed to be where I am right now. I’m attending City College of
San Francisco, majoring in physical therapy. I really want to give back to
the community. Without JVS, I don’t think I’d be as successful and determined as I
am right now. Work transformed my life because it taught me that I need to have
goals in this life in order to be successful. I need to have goals, I need
to be determined, and if I work hard enough then I could be
successful, and be something in my life. I love my mom and my dad for what they did,
like, it was the best things for me so to be here actually.
I made it, you know, that I’m here I’m working towards my goal and I’m gonna
become successful.

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