Throughout this journey called life, I have learned that it is only through hard work and dedication that one’s goals can be achieved. My name is Michel Loustaunau, and I am from Chihuahua, Mexico, a beautiful city with a rich culture and history. I lived there for the first thirteen years of my life. After I obtained my permanent residence, I immigrated to the U.S. and started school. With that first step, many opportunities became available for me.
When I was a senior in high school I remember thinking, What am I going to do during the summer with no work experience? I really wanted a job, but I had no skills; I didn’t even know how to write a resume or fill out a job application.
My second step came after I saw a pamphlet that was promoting a summer program that would help youth 16 to 24 get a job. All I needed to do was show up and be willing to learn, which I did. In 2009 I became part of the youth program which helps young adults gain training, work experience, and skills (among many other things) providing a pathway for self-sufficiency. The case workers at Workforce Solutions Borderplex were extremely kind to me. After asking about my interests and learning that I was majoring in psychology, they prepared me for my first job.
After a couple of years of guidance and support from my family, friends, and my youth case manager, I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. This step was a big accomplishment for me and my family, since I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. I continued taking advantage of the educational opportunities available to me and started pursuing a Master of Arts in Sociology and will graduate in the Spring of 2018.
Professionally, I was hired on a permanent basis as a youth case manager after I was no longer part of the program. Today, I continue to work in the youth program as a lead case manager and work with my mentor and friend, who was once my own youth case manager. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities the workforce system has provided me, including giving me the chance to fulfill my dream of working with those in need. Now I’m able to help youth reach their own dreams no matter how big they are.
Success only takes effort, serenity, responsibility and a positive attitude. In life no matter how difficult a situation might seem nothing is impossible if you got the courage to fight for what you want. And remember to take that first step.