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Meet Dantrell


Meet Dantrell, Cara participant class of September 2021 and Cleanslate crew member. For Giving Tuesday, he shared his journey with us so far and how he’s learning the skills that will set him up for success.

Could you describe to me what life was like before joining Cara?

“I was doing a lot of basic and temporary labor work. It was a struggle for me not only financially, but difficult to learn skills I wanted to have in those roles. It wasn’t healthy for me and I couldn’t grow. I wanted to build literacy skills and be prepped for life, you know, but the jobs I was doing felt like they were holding me back.”

How did you become connected with Cara and why did you join?

“I was seeing Cleanslate around the city for a while and watching them clean the community. Just seeing them in person was a huge motivation for me. I think there’s nothing better than that, you know, having a job where you feel good about yourself while you help out your community. When I was working the temporary jobs, it was not healthy at all for me, and I was inside all the time. So, when I started at Cleanslate, it felt like a huge break, and I’ve always loved working outside and being around nature.”

Dantrell working hard to beautify the Chicago community with Cleanslate

How would you describe your experience at Cara so far?

My experience at Cara has been supportive. People are always calling to check up on my journey. There’s always someone helping me move upward and making sure I’m on track. I feel like I have a special relationship with everyone where I can relate and connect with them on different levels. Cara provides me with transportation and the bus card, helped me with my literacy skills, and have actually helped me with my timing and making sure I’m on point for things. I’ve been told the best thing you can do is show up and show out, and that’s what I’ve been doing.

The best thing you can do is show up and show out.

Was there a lesson or a moment in the program that was a turning point for you?

“Just having to be up early and have a routine was a huge turning point for me. I never had to be up like this before. I’m sharper with my time now and more organized. Now I wake up myself before my alarm even goes off, which is a huge change for me.”

If you would like to support Dantrell during his job seeking journey at Cara, visit our Giving Tuesday page, and please consider giving a gift to help carry our mission.

Can you give a few words you would use to describe yourself before you came to Cara?

Before Cara, I had less hope. I wasn’t happy with my job and day to day. I was also dealing with losses in my family and had recently lost my Auntie. I was down and really hurt by that.

Can you give a few words you would use to describe yourself now?

After joining Cara, I would say that I’m excited and hopeful for the future. I’m now full of hope. I feel like this is what I was looking for to keep my mind off everything that happened to me. I feel blessed to have a community at work that supports me and is here for me.

As we wrap up our 30th year, we want it to make it the best one yet. Your support ensures that more motivated job seekers will get the chance to launch their new beginning. Please consider making a gift as your support ensures that more job seekers will receive their new beginning over our next 30 years.