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Helping Build Potential for Work


Abigail Quaye, a Chicagoan, faced the challenge of underemployment. Despite her persistent efforts to apply for various jobs, she struggled to find the right fit. She also appeared in some interviews for full-time jobs, but unfortunately she never received job offers. The ongoing search left her feeling disheartened, doubting she would ever discover a suitable job. It was at this point, guided by a recommendation from her sister, a CMAA client, that she connected with our Workforce Specialist, Monique. Abigail had reservations but decided to meet with the CMAA Workforce Specialist to talk through her options.


After a few short meetings, Monique understood Abigail’s goals, strengths, and preferences for employment. Before meeting with CMAA, Abigail didn’t feel confident in her ability to convey her skills and, most crucially, her value, hindering her progress beyond the interview stage.


CMAA’s Workforce Specialist Monique recognized that she has a customer service mindset and communication skills. However she lacked conflict-resolution skills, which is a key problem-solving ability. To support her, Monique created meetings and mock interviews to build Abigail’s confidence. Monique educated her on things to expect and how to handle certain situations. Monique empowered Abigail to handle behavioral and situational interview questions and highlight her past experiences. Abigail said that she feels Monique is reliable. She felt care and a sense of community when she came to CMAA’s workforce that she could not find anywhere before. She did not have many people to talk to. Monique gave her professional opinions of how to handle situations more effectively. Most people told her to ignore things, but she knew it is not a good way to deal with problems. She is so thankful because instead of telling her to ignore things, Monique taught her how to handle things properly and how to speak up to stand for the right things at work.


By practicing interviews, Abigail’s self-confidence grew! Finally, after the ongoing search, Abigail secured an interview for a customer service role at Nothing Bundt Cakes. Monique helped her prepare for an interview, helping Abigail communicate her assets and values with confidence.


As a result of their hard work together, Abigail got the job! She was thrilled to have found a position that was a good match for her career development goals. Abigail was thrilled to start her new career and begin making a difference. Abigail is proud to report she is now the Customer Service Manager at Nothing Bundt Cakes, and we are proud of her!



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