This past month, Called to Serve made great strides in transforming lives right here in the heart of North Philadelphia. We joined hands with the Zion Baptist Church, Broad, Germantown & Erie Commercial Corridor, and Temple Health to offer a series of events aimed at uplifting and empowering the community, focusing on enhancing job readiness and boosting self-confidence.
Our event saw an array of offerings including engaging seminars, professional clothing giveaways, and complimentary grooming sessions. "Attendees arrive appearing distraught, but leave looking like confident professionals," shared Amelia Price, the event organizer.
Upon entering the welcoming premises of the Zion Baptist Church, attendees were first provided with critical healthcare information. They were then guided to a special area where the charitable Brennon Jones of Haircuts 4 Homeless was ready to provide free haircuts. "A simple haircut can alter one's entire perspective on life," affirmed Jones, highlighting the transformative power of personal grooming.
Next, they were introduced to Michael Robinson, the Director for Community Outreach and Hiring from the Lenfest Center for Community Workforce Partnerships. His insightful interviewing advice was essential in preparing our participants for upcoming job opportunities.
Susan Akinyi-Okumu, the Associate Vice President for Patient Experience at Temple Health, emphasized our shared mission, "We're here to support them in every possible way they aspire to succeed."
After a full day of preparation, attendees were invited to a job fair scheduled for the following Friday. Here, they were given the opportunity to showcase their newly acquired skills in front of potential employers. Temple University graciously played host to over 80 employers at the Aramark STAR Complex, a testament to the community's shared hope for everyone's success.
Margot Vargas, one of the attendees, was deeply moved by the experience. Despite her recent struggles, she found new hope through the resources offered at the event. "New clothes, a fresh makeover, and professional interview training reminded me that I am part of a caring community," she expressed.
Margot's words echoed the gratitude we witnessed in many of our participants: "To everyone who made this possible, whether you packed a bag or simply offered a warm greeting, thank you for seeing me for who I truly am."
At Called to Serve, we believe in the transformative power of community support. We thank everyone who joined us in this successful venture and we look forward to continuing our efforts in creating a more empowered and thriving community.