We recently had a chance to catch up with Yanglee (Yang) Vang, a participant in the Youth-Business Mentoring Program during the 1998-99 school year while a student at Madison East High School.
After completing the three week training, she was placed at the Puzzle Box, a toy store on State Street now known as A New Hope Collectible Toys & Comics, where she was a cashier. Later, Common Wealth placed her at the Red Roof Inn on the east side doing housekeeping. In 2000, Common Wealth was able to place her for a third position at Reserve America, a call center for campsite reservations, where she developed her phone experience. All these jobs have led her to where she is today as an employment specialist at Forward Service Corporation. Yang’s passion is helping people, a skill she saw the staff at Common Wealth bring to the training and job placement experience she had in high school. She now lives that out by helping food share recipients find employment.
“I was motivated through that training to become who I am today,” reflects Yang between a busy day of appointments with those seeking jobs. “I learned about resumes through the program at Common Wealth.” She recalls everyone was shy during her training. One of the trainers held up a $1 bill and asked the quiet room what it was. After a few moments, one person raised their hand and said, “It’s a dollar.” The student was awarded with the dollar and it taught her that she had to move forward with confidence and speak up in order to be noticed – a lesson that has stuck with her after all these years.
Click here to learn more about the Youth-Business Mentoring Program, now in its 26th year with over 8,500 students served and placed in jobs in our community.