Rosa Caraballo was used to getting up every morning and making sure she arrived just a little bit early at her day care job.
She had been doing the same routine for seven years, until this past January when the rug was pulled out from under her and she suddenly lost her job.
She had a 2-year-old daughter to support and had no choice but to turn to the state safety net programs – but for her, that wasn’t enough.
“I was determined to do whatever I could to get back to work when I lost my job,” she said at a recent Client Appreciation ceremony. “I worked in a day care for seven years and suddenly became unemployed at the beginning of this year. I struggled. I got little or no support from the father of my girls. I lived off of my income tax refund for a few months, but it didn’t last. I reached out to the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) and that’s when I heard about their support programs.”
In the meantime, Caraballo has been training on Microsoft Office programs and said she is very close to landing another job and getting her family back on track.
Her story is one of several that were highlighted and recognized at a ceremony in Roca Headquarters last month – a ceremony put on by the DTA and highlighting inspirational stories from the Chelsea offices’s clientele.
DTA Commissioner Stacey Monahan was also on hand to recognize the many clients of the Chelsea office that had transitioned into employment or had undergone significant training through DTA programs.
“This is about believing in people now,” she said. “It’s not just about money and benefits. That’s part of it…This is about supporting people and helping them through a transition. I need help with that. Everybody does. That’s what is required whenever there is a transition. It’s about supporting people as they move onward and upward.”
One of those very motivational stories came from Denise Rivera of Chelsea, who said she could never have gotten the training she needed to succeed without the DTA support and programs.
Rivera trained in a DTA program in food service since last October, she said.
“I never knew looking for a job would be so hard,” she said. “It definitely helps to have an agency to help us…The training I received helped me with confidence to push forward. Not only do I love to cook, but also I love to be around people. When you really love something, you have to go get it. There are no shortcuts and no one will hand you anything. I am proud to say today that I applied for a job recently and found out that I got the job. I am ready to work and be successful in my new job.”