When I was 17 years old I got pregnant and I went through something traumatic and knew I needed a job. I found out about the Center for Youth and I got a few jobs that I was not able to keep because I did not take them seriously. Then my case manager at the Center for Youth offered me an internship either at Rochester Animal Services or Imprintable Solutions and I picked Imprintable and that is when my life changed for the better.
I started at Imprintable Solutions going to events to sell shirts. After that, I started printing shirts on the Direct to Garment machines. I moved up into a supervisory and leadership role soon after and I was hired on by Tina Paradiso who owns Imprintable Solutions after my internship ended to continue gaining experience. I also had my second child while I was at Imprintable Solutions and I was supported through my recovery because I had to heal from my C-section.
I met Janelle at the Center for Youth because she was the program manager of the Learn 2 Earn program that helped me get my internship. Janelle now works for Community Resource Collaborative and has a desk within the Imprintable Solutions shop and is available to help anyone with anything they need, whether they work at the shop or come in off the street. Because I was able to watch Janelle do the work she does, I realized I want to be a case manager too. I am being trained right now to be a case manager and I am focusing on parenting youth to help them get the items they need for themselves and their babies and I am also learning how to get them help through DSS and with housing. Tina has supported me with emergency daycare, transportation, food, laundry, and so much more. I was able to receive my High School Equivalency in August 2021 because Tina got a tutor for me that met me at my job to help me study. I have grown so much as a person because of my internship at Imprintable Solutions. I finally found my passion in life thanks to Tina starting Community Resource Collaborative and being able to see the work Janelle does and her taking me on to train me. I have been able to connect with so many people and grow into a better person and make connections I never knew I would be able to make.
My goals are to become a case manager and start my own nonprofit to help young parents and I know Tina and Janelle will be supporting me the whole way. I hope Community Resource Collaborative can receive grant money to support internships for more young people because I know they will benefit in all of the ways I did and they will be able to find their passion too. They do not turn down anyone who needs help and people are able to learn and grow because of all of the support offered. You can contact me by phone or email if you have any questions. – BM