Out of the storm

Iseli lost everything when Hurricane Ian flooded her car. She turned to Orlando Union Rescue Mission, where she found shelter, JP and hope. Accepting that she was homeless was painful, though, Iseli says. “It was a big change, and I would just cry and cry.”

Her case manager recommended JP’s LifeWorks course, and Iseli enrolled for the spring 2023 course. “LifeWorks was a good experience for me,” she says, “because they taught me to look at things differently, like using the resources around you, asking questions, being prepared for what’s to come, and building relationships with the people around you.”

LifeWorks’ Pathways to Success component introduced Iseli to career and technical education (CTE), which quickly trains people for skilled career-path jobs, and the JP partners that make it possible. She enrolled in Valencia College’s medical office specialist course and received a scholarship from CareerSource Central Florida. JP awarded Iseli a Pathways Award stipend, funded by a JPMorgan Chase &Co. grant, to help with her expenses.

Iseli got a full-time job at Lighthouse Works, has replaced her car and is moving toward self-sufficiency. With the career-path mind-set she learned from JP, Iseli plans to use her certificate education as an on-ramp to a degree program, probably in healthcare administration or human resources.

Her advice to LifeWorks participants? “Ask as many questions as you can. Do the homework. Listen to the instructors. Soak it all in.”

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