It is Second Start’s mission to create a path to success for all of our students. Our goal is to intergrade our students with the community and help them become active members of our society. We developed programs to better prepare the students for life after high school and expose them to the community by working on life skills such as: learn to navigate the community through public transportation, apply for jobs and maintain a job.
Andrew Suarez, the workability specialist at Pine Hill San Jose, works with a group of 25 students to help them develop these vital life skills.

Recently, Suarez has helped (name of the student), prepare for an internship opportunity with Bon Appétit Management Company, a culinary program through Goggle.

“The Bon Appétit program has a lot of steps,” explained Suarez, “being given the opportunity, especially since we are a small school, and being on the same platform as larger schools, is important.”

Suarez explained that his job is to expose the students to the workforce by giving them a chance to participate in these programs.

Suarez focuses on the students’ current work experience and skills. He assesses whether they are personable or introverted to direct them towards the right job path. As part of the career development program, Suarez also identifies the areas of need, leads a resume workshop, practices interview skills, which includes guided video lesson and mock interviews.

To keep the students engaged and motivated to join the workforce, Suarez also invites guest lectures to help the students overcome any anxieties that they may have.

He encourages his students to pursue a post-secondary program or join the workforce.

“Our students are capable of doing anything, it’s up to [them] whether [they] want to succeed and we are here to help,” said Suarez.