Partner Stories

Partner Spotlight

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 Francisco Sosa, affectionately known as Franco, is 35 years old and works as an Outreach and Admissions counselor for DESI Job Corps on the Illinois OA/CTS contract. He has been honored for his superior work by the Job Corps National Call Center. He is also an enthusiastic alumnus of the Job Corps program.

Sosa grew up in a difficult environment, surrounded by drugs, death, negativity, and incarceration. As a result, he believed minorities were not expected to succeed. He describes his life before Job Corps as boring, unfocused, and void of any goals. After hearing about the Job Corps program, however, Sosa hoped to gain the skills to challenge and prepare himself for the job market. At age 19, he enrolled at the Joliet Job Corps Center and chose Information Technology as his career technical training area

Although initially homesick, Sosa quickly adapted to the program because it challenged him and made him appreciate the opportunity to work as part of a team. He enjoyed the social skills classes, which allowed him to improve his communication and interpersonal skills. Through the dorm life, he learned about independent living, taking care of himself, and the meaning of responsibility. Living with others gave him the opportunity tc use improved interpersonal skills in getting along with roommates and others.

Upon completion of his technical training, Sosa went on to advanced training in Business Office at the Humphrey Job Corps Center in Minnesota. There he completed his training.

Sosa believes that Job Corps taught him to humble himself and helped him become the individual he is today. Sosa enjoys interacting with other staff as he introduces potential students to the benefits of enrolling in and completing the Job Corps Program. “Mentoring youth who have childhoods similar to the one I survived is my passion. It makes me very happy to see a student choose to change his or her life for the better.”

If you are looking to enroll into the program, you will be required to attend an

ORIENTATION SESSION:

Every Friday 10:30 a.m. @ The Northside Workforce Center, 5050-5060 North Broadway St., Suite 690, Chicago, IL 60640

No appointment is necessary, walk-ins are welcome.

 Mr. Francisco Sosa may be reached by phone at (773)334-4747 or by e-mail at Sosa.Francisco@jobcorps.org.

Note: Francisco has been a tremendous help working with Excel to place students in the Job Corp program. We look forward to continuing a successful partnership.

KOREAN METHODIST CHURCH

OVERFLOW MINISTRY OUTREACH UPDATE

by John Harvey

I wanted to take a minute and thank everyone for their prayers and support of our outreach ministry. GOD continues to use Overflow in powerful ways! GOD has been partnering our ministry with this incredible network of people and organizations in the kingdom, people who truly care about making a difference in other people’s lives, for his glory! For me each and every day is a humbling experience of his powerful majesty at work in this world!

In the next few weeks I would like to share and showcase some of the people and organizations that help Overflow Ministry do what we do.

 First off, there is Excel into Independence. The organization, run by our ministry friend Myrtle Jackson, specializes in taking disadvantaged and homeless young men and women and giving them an opportunity to go to college for little to no money. We have set up a table in the foyer for you to view some of the programs available through their organization, or visit their website at www.excelintoindependence.org

Myrtle has been helping us with young adults in our program for the last couple of years. Most recently she helped us move Dimarco Griffin from the homeless shelter to Philander Smith College, a Christian college in Arkansas.

I introduced myself to DiMarco on Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 16th) and asked him to pray and give the blessing for the 50+ in attendance for the shelter breakfast. At this point I had no idea if he even attended church or was a believer, but GOD put it in my heart to ask. He readily accepted and it was a great blessing for me as I started my day!

Dimarco is 20 years old. He was traveling night to night to the various shelter locations. (PADS is at a different location every night.) For those who are in the shelters they carry all of their personal possessions with them wherever they go. He was also going to classes at Prairie State Community College and at the same time working part time at Walmart. That impressed me!

I was there interviewing the men for our needs program. He was my first interview. I listened to his story and asked him if he would like an opportunity to go to full time college and live in a dorm room. He didn’t know what to say, but agreed to a referral. We prayed for him and for GOD to open the necessary doors.

I contacted Myrtle and she agreed to accept Dimarco into her program. At this point we were not sure that it would work, as school had already started two weeks prior.  Myrtle was confident that we could get it done, and started the process. First off, the school gave us an extended admissions date of 2/27/16, the first door to open. Secondly, we were given dorm space, provided he could get all his paperwork complete in time.

I contacted Dimarco on 2/23/16 with the following requirements for him to go to college.

  • Completed Fafsa Application for Philander Smith College, applying as a homeless individual.
  • Immunization records
  • High school and College transcripts (Passing grades are a requirement to get in)

Dimarco went to work and completed all the documentation by 2/25/16. That evening he went shopping with Myrtle and her organization provided him with the additional items he needed to attend school.  He was given: school supplies, dorm supplies and a suitcase. The following day he purchased a $77.50 Mega bus ticket and departed for college that evening at 8pm.  Our prayers from that first meeting had been answered! Praise GOD! 

Dimarco’s text to me this week (Feb. 7, 2017);

Everything is going great brother John. Just a bit busy but humbled and full of gratitude for how fortunate and blessed I am and thankful for all of your assistance along the way brother John! God Bless”  

Excel into Independence currently has 6 young women and 5 young men attending Philander Smith College. 10 of these students were homeless prior to attending college! Overflow Ministry will be providing 11 care packages that we will be sending down to the school in a couple of weeks. Please help us with donations of; gift cards (fast food, Walmart etc.…) Also, school supplies and personal hygiene products as well as cards encouraging the students!

We are so thankful to GOD for these partnerships that he has put us into! Truly, Grace Overflowing!

“So that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God!

(2 Corinthians 4:15, NIV)

Note: Excel is blessed to have a partnership with Korean Methodist Church. John always lends his unconditional, never-ending support to help us to help those in need. We look forward to what is yet to come!