Impact Stories

The First Place ‘Secret Sauce!’

At First Place, every young person we partner with has the potential to overcome complex barriers. Sometimes, however, a young person engages themselves so wholly that they identify their chosen pathway and make truly phenomenal progress. Amber, described by her team as an “extraordinary young adult,” exemplifies incredible determination

Amber entered the My First Place program in May 2019 and successfully exited in December 2021.

Amber  wanted to pursue business as a career pathway with a goal to become a real estate agent during her journey. Amber’s First Place team connected her with a local real estate agent, for mentorship and guidance to find the right educational program to obtain her real estate license. Amber landed an internship with Real Estate Express, where she was able to complete the 135-hour-pre-licensing course to prep for her real estate exam. During this time, she also attended El Camino Community College, where she worked on her BS degree in business administration.

Through consistent employment and working with her Youth Advocate on savings goals, Amber saved $16,000 to help her transition out of program and into her own apartment in North Carolina. There she has a support system and intends to be licensed as a real estate agent.

Reflecting on Amber’s success, her team identified a network of support as the ‘secret sauce’  on her journey to self-sufficiency. Her team spoke about the importance of creating strong rapport and engagement, developing trust, and facilitating opportunities that would aid Amber in her journey.

Establishing trust with the team showed Amber they were there for her and cared about her success. The team worked together to coordinate transport to Doctor’s appointments, helped Amber navigate and become comfortable with public transportation, and acknowledged her milestones and achievements with celebratory lunches. The team also recognized that frequently reviewing Amber’s transition plan to help her see the number of weeks left in program, and her progress towards earning a living wage, was also crucial to a stable exit.

When Amber graduated from First Place in December 2021, she had completed her real estate school program, created a support network, and developed the self-sufficiency skills needed to move out of state to her desired location of North Carolina.

Congrats to Amber and her fantastic FPFY team! We are cheering Amber on from the sidelines and wish her the best of luck in North Carolina as she pursues a real estate career.


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