Success Stories: Rachel Christensen
Rachel joined C-TEC at 20 years old. Educationally, she bounced around to different schools during 10th and 11th grades in Oregon City and also in Utah. During all of this transition, she became pregnant. Her daughter Danika was only 4 months old when Rachel transferred to YPOP (Young Parent Opportunity Program) at Clackamas Community College (CCC) to complete her remaining credits to earn her high school diploma.
When she joined C-TEC Youth Services, Rachel faced multiple barriers to her success. They included being young single mother, lacking a high school diploma, lacking dependable childcare, and receiving public assistance (Food Stamps, Oregon Health Plan, WIC food program, and TANF). Through her C-TEC site provider at Clackamas Community College, Rachel received comprehensive guidance & counseling, occupational training opportunities, leadership development opportunities, high school credit recovery tuition, bus tickets, textbooks, gas vouchers, interview & office work clothes.
In the spring of 2006, Rachel applied and was accepted into C-TEC Youth Service's Summer Youth Academy. After successfully completing the two-week paid interpersonal and General Office training, Rachel was placed on-site with PCC Structurals. During this time, Rachel applied to the Dental Assistant certificate program at CCC. She received supportive services from C-TEC Youth Services for the Dental Assistant program requirements (fingerprints, application fee, scrubs sets, etc.).
Rachel completed the 6 week paid work experience with PCC Structurals and then extended her work agreement until the first term of the Dental Assistant program began in late September 2006. In addition, Rachel's C-TEC site provider saw that Rachel could benefit from the Adult WIA program at CCC. The connection was made in November 2006 and Rachel is now receiving active services from the CCC Adult WIA program and follow-up services from C-TEC Youth Services.
Rachel's vision of reality was that she wanted a better life for her young daughter (Danika will be 2 years old this July). She knew she would need to complete a higher education course to gain the skills to be competitive in the workplace. She chose a short-term training with a long-term career path and generous possibilities for growth. Additionally, C-TEC Youth Service's partnership with PCC Structurals through the 2006 Summer Youth Academy provided Rachel a work site to practice her office and interpersonal skills, as well as help her build confidence and support her daughter.
Currently, Rachel is finishing her final term of the Dental Assistant program at Clackamas Community College. She is seeking a successful employment site where she can be a team player and share her newly acquired dental skills.