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Izell finds a new future for himself

Meet Izell, a Cara participant who started his journey with us in June 2023 and is currently employed at Alinea, a top restaurant in Chicago. In honor of #GivingTuesday, he shares how he found a new future for himself to provide more for his family.

Feeling unfulfilled

“Before Cara, I was working in jobs that left me unfulfilled. I always worked hard to provide for my family. I was working in fast food roles and didn’t think there was any other option for me. I didn’t have stability, and would go from job to job. I would take whatever I could get, as long as I could provide for my family. I was looking for a new job with temp agencies when a friend of mine referred me to Cara.

“At first, I was hesitant. I did not understand why we had to go through so many steps and training before getting a job. Then as time went on, I realized how important some of the simple things are. Learning how to communicate and tell people that you love them. Those things go a long way.

Investing in me

“Cara invested in me and my future in so many ways. From the support we got every day, the clothing, the resume building. Everything was setting me up for success. It felt amazing knowing that I had the choice and freedom to find a job that I actually enjoyed. I felt like I was being invested in as a human.”

“Through Cara, I learned to keep an open mind and that I can always do better. My time at Cara led me to a job at Alinea, one of the top restaurants in the city. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into my work and am already looking to grow within the company. A job like this was beyond my imagination. I can see a future here.

Finding the stability I needed

“I have savings now and a retirement plan, which I never had before. I have a son who is going to be born in two months, and I’m happy knowing I can support him and my family

I tell everyone I know about Cara. I think anyone who is struggling could really benefit from a program like this. It opened up so many doors for me, and I’m grateful.” 

This season, your support of Cara Collective is critical to furthering our mission of eradicating poverty and increasing access, equity, and opportunity. Please consider making a financial gift this #GivingTuesday to support job seekers like Izell. Thank you for your support!