For Hayden, 18, participating in the Hire Pierce County Next Gen internship program in coordination with an Education, Employment, and Training (EET) program through Pierce County’s Juvenile Probation Office provided more than job readiness and work experience. As a juvenile offender, the programs helped him gain the structure and discipline he needed to succeed in life.
“The biggest challenge I faced was my background,” Hayden said. “I had no clue how to get a job or even answer the questions about my background. Truthfully it kept me from even applying for a job. I didn’t think I would ever be able to get a job or even complete any programs.”
But Hayden said that these programs and his advisers through them were able to help him get on track.
“When I started Hire Pierce County Next Gen and EET, I didn’t think anything would change for me. It was just another program I HAD to do,” he said. “But this program is different. Angie and Ron care about us and have taught us how to do a resume and cover letter and answer the question of my background.”
Hayden took advantage of a computer program that was offered and came in early every day, working on his computer skills to earn five certificates. And when he had a court date, he was able to show the judge all the positive work he’d been doing. Because of this, Hayden was able to have his record sealed this summer and can start his adult life crime free.
“I have been on and off probation for five years, so I am excited for my future,” Hayden said. “Coming through this program really changed my life. It didn’t just get me a job but literally changed my life.”
Hayden has stayed out of trouble and is now working in a warehouse.
“I am very thankful that I took advantage of the opportunity I was given and changed my life for the better,” he said.