Meet Eric & Valerie – Sueños Students Nominated for Achievement Award

Two Sueños participants were nominated for the Santa Cruz County Workforce Development Board’s WIOA Workforce Achievement Award this year. The purpose of the award is to recognize the hard work of WIOA participants who overcame adversity and succeeded in achieving their goals. Both nominees have shown commitment to reaching their goals, dedication to increasing their skills, and a determination to improve their lives. We congratulate them both on their nomination and accomplishments.

When Eric enrolled in Sueños, his two goals were to return to school to attain his High School diploma and to get a better paying job. Eric knew that in order for him to get a better job, one that he enjoyed and offered him opportunities for advancement, he would need to go back to school for a high school diploma.

One of the first steps Sueños staff assisted Eric with was enrolling in the Career Advancement Charter (CAC). Having previously struggled in a traditional education system, the CAC was able to provide the individualized academic support Eric needed to succeed. Eric proudly received his High School Diploma in the Summer of 2023 and is currently in a paid on-the-job training program with the City of Watsonille’s Public Works Department. Eric will complete that training program soon and hopes to have a permanent job within the Public Works Department.

Valerie enrolled in Sueños in August of 2022 and has since been an exemplary participant. She has taken advantage of numerous WIOA services offered, including being co-enrolled in the youth and adult WIOA programs. Valerie has been able to participate in career development, entrepreneurial skills training, job readiness and paid work experience offered by the Sueños youth program. Valerie is also currently attending the CALS Medical Assisting program paid for by a scholarship through the WIOA adult program. On top of this already busy schedule, Valerie is also employed as a full time Caregiver with Hope Services.

Although Valerie has a lot going on, she doesn’t give up. Life has not been easy for her, however her perseverance, hard work, and not shying away from asking for help when she needs it, have led her closer to reaching her goals.

If you or someone you know is interested in the Suenos Program, applications can be completed in person or the following link.