Despite the many barriers LaZae faced in her home life, she was determined to build a brighter future for herself. She lacked marketable occupational skills and adequate work experience, however, she was a natural born leader and had a desire to succeed. Her life changed tremendously after joining the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) program. With the help of JMG, LaZae learned valuable job skills and obtained credible work experiences that connected her to opportunities that enabled her to set goals and chart her future path.
Career exploration is one of the many benefits that JMG provided LaZae as a student at Pershing High School in Detroit. Her interest in skilled trades led her to take a masonry class and a job with Detroit Workforce of the Future. Upon graduation, she was offered a position in masonry with Bricklayers and Operators #324 but decided to pursue her college degree and play basketball as a Schoolcraft College Ocelot. LaZae still uses her construction experience by volunteering in Idlewild to help restore the town on the weekends.
“The skills I learned in high school and the JMG Program are something I can’t just forget, they are something that will stick with me for life. JMG provided me with some necessities that are very essential in my day to day life and my future success,” expressed LaZae.
Although construction and basketball aren’t considered traditional career choices for women, LaZae’s Specialist, Carolyn Miller, always supported her and encouraged her to pursue her dreams. Carolyn inspired LaZae to participate in our most recent Coffee with a Purpose: Unique Opportunities in Nontraditional Occupations, where she had the chance to share her experiences in a male dominated field and offer guidance to other youth interested in pursuing nontraditional careers.