• Joyce Boyer, a Community Job Connection Graduate

    Joyce Boyer ran her own cleaning business when the pandemic hit. Joyce’s business, like many others, was negatively impacted by the pandemic, so she had to resort to working part-time jobs like Instacart and DoorDash to make ends meet.   Joyce was having trouble finding full-time work and was falling behind on paying her bills when she got a call from her daughter. Knowing her mother was looking for work, Joyce’s daughter invited her to come a Community Job Connection recruitment event, which was happening at her apartment complex. Joyce went to the mobile unit and received job information, went through orientation, and registered for NET, Integrity’s job readiness and soft skills training course. “It was a good training,” Joyce said. “It was very transparent, Mr. Walter knew what he was doing, and he was very passionate about his work.” After completing NET, Joyce got a job in Fairburn as a health monitor, which is helping her catch up on her bills. NET refers its graduates to a financial planning program, which Joyce has joined to improve her credit. After her success with the Community Job Connection, Joyce is going to recommend it to her friends who are also looking for work. “I’m thankful for the program and the resources that they offer. I would suggest it to anyone out here struggling, trying to find work. It’s the go-to place.”

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  • Edith Page, An Inspirational Story

    Edith Page, a Registered Nurse of 30 years, was sentenced to prison for an offense she did not commit. Despite her long history of public service, glowing character references, not being convicted of a crime, and having no previous offenses, she still spent a year in prison. Now, after getting off probation in 2020, Edith is studying for her Juris Doctorate at Georgia State University, becoming as employable as possible, and getting her record expunged. For job readiness and record expungement, she turned to Integrity for help.    Edith heard about Integrity’s services through Women on the Rise. Women on the Rise is a grassroots organization led by women of color who are impacted or targeted by the legal system.   Through Integrity, Edith has completed the NET program for job readiness and professional development and is enrolled in the Next50 program. Edith is in touch with her case manager and the staff at Integrity on a regular basis, which she finds incredibly helpful. “Half the battle is getting information, knowing where to go and who to talk to and what your needs are. So, you know, if you don't even know what to do next, how can you move forward? They've been very good at helping me with the job readiness and professional development and the emailing back and forth, it's been really great.”  Along with soft skills training and assistance finding a job, Integrity is also helping Edith to obtain an official document that says that once she has her degree in criminal justice, she is employable. Edith also attended an online Expungement workshop, hosted by Integrity and Goodwill of North Georgia.   Edith said that Integrity has helped her jump-start her search for employment, and that Integrity has instilled her with confidence despite being discouraged by the “Felon” label on her record. “Now that I've practiced my elevator speech, completed the professional development class, written out my smart goals, and received such encouragement from Mr. Walter Evans in class, I'm well on my way to financial success again.  Not only will I continue my studies at GSU, but feel confident about getting back out in the workforce of society.”  You can read more about Edith’s journey in her book, “IMPRISONED, BUT NOT BOUND: Locked Up, But Not Locked Down.” 

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  • Meet Integrity’s 2020 Student of the Year

    At Integrity's 25th Anniversary Celebration, we honored Kemazee Cooper as 2020's Student of the Year. Here is his story: Kemazee Cooper, a recent Integrity graduate, was honored as this year’s Student of the Year. Kemazee said that he was surprised and grateful to be recognized. “It was kind of empowering, just being able to put in hard work and actually see your goals kind of come to fruition over time. It was a great thing.“   Kemazee begun his training journey with Integrity in 2019. He was looking for a new opportunity after finishing a job and heard about Integrity through word-of-mouth. Integrity is a big part of the neighborhood, so Kemazee often saw fliers or heard people talking about it, which is how he got involved.    Because he expressed an interest in working in the technology field as the next step in his career, Integrity connected him with Per Scholas, a technical school in Atlanta. Kemazee actually had to finish his training remotely because of the pandemic, but once he graduated from the program, Per Scholas and Integrity helped with his job search, and everything from creating his resume to preparing for his job interviews.    Kemazee now works at Capgemini, a global software company that partners with companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. He is providing site support right now and, with support and training provided by Capgemini, hopes to get into DevOps or cybersecurity.   Kemazee’s advice for people who are considering joining Integrity or who have just started an Integrity program is to take advantage of all the resources provided, and to remember that the staff at Integrity just wants to see you succeed. “Make sure that you use [the resources]. Make sure you have an open mind. And just make sure you work hard. Integrity has great opportunities, and I’m living proof of that. I really appreciate them for stepping out and going out of their way to help me and help the community.” 

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  • Meet Integrity’s 2020 Unsung Shero

    At Integrity's 25th Anniversary Celebration, we honored Eleanor Hillman as 2020's Unsung Shero. Here is her story: Eleanor Hillman was the recipient of this year’s Unsung Shero award, an honor which she found humbling. “You don’t actually look for accolades while you’re doing the work, but just to know that someone does see you and see the work you do makes you feel very humble.”   In 2003, Eleanor was homeless and addicted to drugs and alcohol. She entered The Grace Period Recovery House that provided transitional housing for women who were homeless, victims of domestic violence or seeking drug or other substance abuse treatment. The Recovery House was a program of New Jerusalem Baptist Church, where Eleanor attended church services. It was there that she met the church’s Senior Pastor Reverend BeckhamEleanor said Reverend Beckham would sometimes come and speak during the services she attended, and that he had very encouraging words.   After Eleanor got clean from drugs and alcohol, she attended skills training at the affiliated English Avenue Resource Center and later applied for employmentEleanor said Reverend Beckham would encourage her to go after jobs even if she felt she wasn’t qualified. “One of my jobs was at Georgia State University, and he said ‘Eleanor, go for it. I said “But I don’t have a degree, everybody there has a degree!’ And he said, ‘Eleanor, what God has for you is for you.’ So, I applied, and I got that job.” Eleanor went on to work at Georgia State University for 12 years.   Today, Eleanor works at Emory University as a Clinical Research Coordinator and at Empowerment Resource Center as the Outreach Coordinator. At Emory, she assists with research, recruitment and paperwork, and is known as “The Research Lady.” At Empowerment Resource Center, her main focus is going out into the community and testing people for HIV. Eleanor also helps people with other needs, such as getting clean from drugs or alcohol, by finding them ...

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  • Finding a Job and Setting Others Free

    When Stanley Frazier reached Westside Works after hearing about the program from a friend, he found out he had already been signed up for the program.  Something good was waiting for him as he began to create a new life after incarceration.  Stanley wanted to work and to be a stronger father to his two teen-aged children.  He enthusiastically completed the Westside Net program, then worked for a while as part of the Westside Beautification team.  He recently gained a full time position at the job fair Integrity hosted in partnership with Aramark in December. This job is Stanley’s first step toward fulfilling his long term mission. He is now sharing his story and insights with youth in his church and the community, telling them “you don’t always have to be cool; you don’t have to try to prove yourself on the street. That path leads to incarceration or death.” Like Harriet Tubman, Stanley has freed himself and is going back to free others.

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