When Employment Coordinator Kajaria Johnson begins the intake process, she asks basic questions about a participant’s background and situation. It was in Maxwell’s initial assessment that she discovered that he was unemployed, on house arrest, and lacking stable housing. 

But Kajaria’s assessment also includes questions like, “What is your dream job?” “What’s something you’ve wanted to do all your life?” This, she says, gets participants thinking about their skills and their goals.

“I believe that everyone I work with has a gift and a talent,” Kajaria said. “I call it their superpower. And, a lot of times, they just don’t know how to use their superpower yet.”

Enrolling in the Workforce Development program in February 2019, Maxwell learned about environmental care job opportunities. With a recommendation from Kajaria, he was accepted into the program and enrolled in a 12-week course. He received 11 certifications, graduated at the top of his class, and was offered a full-time position at Suncast Solar Energy Inc. He’s been employed by Suncast since June.   

Kajaria remembers Maxwell’s determination, consistency, and frequent questions. “Maxwell always asked questions, that’s one thing,” she said. “If you know you have a path and a purpose for your life, you’re going to ask questions.”

This story was featured in Breakthrough’s 2019 Annual Report.

Read the Annual Report