A Crossroads to Career Clarity

Photo:  Latasha Alston,  Employment Readiness Workshop  graduate 2018

Photo: Latasha Alston, Employment Readiness Workshop graduate 2018

When LaTasha began the StepUp process, she was skeptical about it because she was at a crossroads in her life. “I was in the process of losing my home and my car, and I was without a job for about two months,” LaTasha said. She is also navigating motherhood with her son, Geovanni, and expecting another child. That’s when LaTasha realized, “I had gotten to a point where I needed to step back and seek help.”

In the summer, LaTasha joined the Employment Readiness Workshop. “My biggest concern was how to approach interviews.” Through the workshop week, LaTasha gained the courage to take on those interviews.On the final day of the workshop, she was able to practice interviewing and get feedback. “My very first interview coming out of the StepUp Durham workshop, I knew I nailed it. I was well prepared and empowered.”LaTasha had cultivated the skills and confidence that she needed in order to excel in her interviews.

Now LaTasha works in Office Management for Sodexo in Eagle Dining Services at North Carolina Central University. It was an employment connection she made through StepUp Durham. She loves her work environment and is motivated daily. “This is the first time I’ve worked for a company and everyone feels like family,” LaTasha said. She was grateful to learn that NCCU would accommodate her pregnancy leave and support her. Her co-workers even surprised her with a baby shower. “I have never experienced a job that did such a thing for me. I am beyond thankful for my position here.”

But LaTasha is not done learning and growing. LaTasha joined the Step2 program and learned more about her passions. “I now know that I want to become an Event Planner and have an indoor and outdoor venue [one day].” Eventually, LaTasha hopes to take the entrepreneurial skills she learned at Step2 and apply them to her career. “The amount of encouragement StepUp gives makes you want more for yourself and those around you.” LaTasha’s journey is far from being completed. She hopes to continue cultivating those skills and aspirations and give back to her community. One day, LaTasha hopes that she can “motivate someone else to become a better them.”

Written by Caroleana Kvaterchuk
Duke University Divinity School Intern

StepUp Durham