Success Story: Undefined by Age

I met Joanne in April of 2015. She was a new applicant to our Second Careers program and I was helping her with her initial paperwork. I remember how warm and capable she was, but what sticks with me the most is how carefully she took notes, jotting down each of the forms and documentation she needed to complete her intake. You could just tell that getting into our program was important to her.

Her story was a tough one. She had bounced from Hollister to Nevada and back again; first leaving to pursue better job opportunities, and then returning when the frigid winters became too much. She had qualified for Senior Housing here in Hollister, and intended to live off of her savings for a bit until she found employment.

Things didn’t go as planned though. Joanne was hospitalized shortly after moving back and ended up being transferred to a nursing home for extended care. After her release, the housing she had qualified for was no longer available. By the time we meet, Joanne was living in a motel and nearly out of money.

By June, I had Joanne working at her new internship with Pat’s Place, a thrift store much like the one she had worked at in Nevada.  We stayed close, Joanne often calling with questions or to give me an update on her accomplishments. During one of her calls, I mentioned that a nearby Goodwill had three open positions and were looking to hire some permanent employees. Two interviews later, Joanne had the job!

I can’t begin to express how proud I am of Joanne. She has given me new confidence that a person’s age does not define their abilities. I say this because Joanne is 83 years old. Her story is truly an inspiration; one that breathes life and hope into our other participants.

Jackie Lamantia
Employment Specialist
Peninsula Family Service

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