I am honored to have had the opportunity to volunteer for the RPGB Veteran Employment Event on June 25, 2017. I offered Interview Skills training for a Vet named Joe. Joe is an Atlanta native and looking to advance in his career to improve his current living situation of being homeless. Joe has 10+ years working in Security and Maintenance, but is open to new opportunities. Interviewing over the years has always been a challenge for me personally and something I have had to put a lot of effort in learning how to do successfully. Therefore, I think I have developed skills and acquired information that I think would be helpful to others that feel they need training with this or simply do not have the necessary resources available to them.
I started the session off with Joe by asking him what his ultimate goal was in his career path. He said he would like to make more money so that he can improve his homeless situation. He said it did not have to be a specific job path or something he has experience in, that he was open to doing anything. I started off by telling Joe the struggle I have had with interviewing, along with the skills I have developed in my career path. We then proceeded to go over the questions that were provided for the event and I wrote down notes for him to take with him about what we discussed
I encouraged Joe to take the time to go over basic interviewing questions and write down notes so he can study to prepare himself before an interview. I provided a list of tips on what to wear to an interview and the do’s and don’ts of how to present oneself. Joe was not aware that he may be eligible for government assistance in regards to furthering his education so I provided some information to him that he could research that may be helpful. I told him he was the star of the show and to remember to sell himself in an interview because he has skills that employers are looking for whether it is related experience or transferrable experience and to embrace that.
Joe and I shared some experiences and laughed together a great deal. He said he felt very comfortable talking with me which really empowered me. Being able to participate in the Vet event has inspired me to inquire about continuing to volunteer in regards to career coaching and adult education with the Nicholas House. My father is a Vietnam Veteran, his father was in WWII, and my other grandfather was in the Korean War so I am very passionate about helping veterans especially with which I have personally struggled. I appreciate Rabia and RentPath’s efforts to assist in such a great cause and I look forward to continuing to provide assistance to others.
I am so happy I was given the opportunity to participate in the RPGB Veterans Employment Event.
I was fortunate enough to sit with a Vet named John who ran the military store on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk for 4 years. John and I were going to work on his resume and cover letter. The more we talked about his experiences and how we could highlight some of his talents on his resume, the more he began to relax, even joking with me (which I think was initially hard for him). He opened up to me and told me that he has been homeless for about 2 weeks and that he knew people didn't like the homeless because they didn't have a place to shower and weren't clean, or because they were mentally ill and scary to people. Then he told me "some people are just having a hard time, but are trying to make it better." I felt like the time just flew by. At then end, he thanked me and gave me a big hug. I can say, without hesitation, that was one of those "defining moments" in my life.
This event made me see that the homeless initiative RentPath is dedicated to is so much more than writing a check and checking a box, it's about actually making a difference in someone’s life.