Recently, 2018-2019 Fellows Tabitha Krondorfer (Washington DC) and Ramsey Daniels (Brooklyn) caught up with some previous Work First fellows to find out what they were up to as well as how their time at Work First and America Works was both rewarding and preparatory in their current lives. Here’s what they had to say.
Catherine Sandoval 2016-2017 Work First Fellow
I am currently living and teaching in South Korea at an all boys Middle school. This has been a goal I had for a long time and decided to pursue after being with America Works for 2 years. First, as a fellow I learned the challenges faced by many back home in our communities from not having their GED/TASC and how important Education can be for an individual. Secondly, after the fellowship I continued on with America Works as a Literacy Trainer providing workshops and classes such as ESL and Food Service training. Through these classes I gained the transferable skills that are used in the English classroom today.
Rebecca Fleczak 2016-2017 Work First Fellow
Following my fellowship year I began working as a case manager for Lutheran Social Services of New York in one of their supportive housing programs. I currently work with clients who were formerly homeless and are now living in public housing, most of whom are dealing with a serious mental illness. I work with my clients to assist them in maintaining their housing, their medical and mental health, and working to achieve their personal and professional goals whatever they may be. This fall I began studying at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and anticipate graduating with my Master's in Social Work in 2020. The Work First fellowship program solidified my passion for working with the most vulnerable and under served populations in New York City. Through my direct client work at America Works I learned the skills needed to create strong professional relationships with clients to ultimately help them work towards their goals and become more stable and independent. This direct service experience allowed me to get my feet "on the ground" in the social services field within NYC and guided me towards the social work career path I am on today.