Diana first came to The Fortune Society in the fall of 2021 and quickly became an integral part of the Fortune community. She began as an Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) participant and was soon recommended for an internship at reception. Once her ATI case was closed, she was hired as a full-time Receptionist in April of 2022.
Though she now feels at home at Fortune, she was initially skeptical of what to expect: “I thought it was one of those regular anger management programs they send you to and I was doubting it at first. But I said, ‘let me give it a try.’ And once I came here, I thought ‘Thank God I did.’”
Diana was thrilled to be proven wrong and to see just how holistically the Fortune community cares for its community members:
She was excited that the staff members she worked with as a participant were willing to work with her to make sure she could be part of the programs she found most interesting: “The employees here were so welcoming and kind. It was like, ‘If you want to do this, we can put you there. If you work hard, do your work, then we do our part.’”
Diana knows that she had the motivation to work hard and the curiosity to continue learning, but is grateful that Fortune gave her the opportunity to do both: “It’s a part of my personality that I’ve always been open to learning and listening and observing. But here, they also give you the opportunity to practice that learning and go from there.”
Being referred for the internship and subsequently being hired for the job at reception has allowed Diana to have a career that she never thought would be possible: “I didn’t go to high school because I started working at a young age. I never thought I would be behind a desk. But sometimes you think you can’t do something and then you get the opportunity and that’s all you need.”
Although Diana is happy with her position at reception, she still views Fortune as a place where she can continue learning and growing. “I do want to take advantage of the GED course they have here. They also have technical training. And I want to learn how to express myself better – I have so much that I want to share with everybody, but I need to learn how to speak a little better so people can understand what I am trying to express.” She adds, “there are so many ways you can grow here.”
One of Diana’s favorite things about being a Receptionist is that she is often the first face that people see when they walk through Fortune’s doors. She thinks it is important to use this role to connect with the community and share her experience, in hopes that her story might inspire others who are just starting their Fortune journeys.