Twenty-two and pregnant, Samantha Lewis lost both her job and her apartment. She moved into a family shelter in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district with her newborn son and her boyfriend, who was also unemployed. There, an employment counselor told her about Year Up.
In the program, Samantha’s greatest challenge was balancing her home life with her life at Year Up. It was difficult to push concerns about her family aside and focus on her classwork. To make matters worse, she was sometimes harassed when returning to the Tenderloin by those who saw the corporate attire that she wore to work and mistook her for a well-off professional. Nevertheless, she excelled in both her classes and her internship at Wells Fargo. Her supervisor, who had been looking to hire a consultant with a degree and ten years of experience, was so impressed by her work that she got the job instead. Now, Samantha’s family has moved into a house, and even while working full-time at Wells Fargo, she is taking night classes to further develop her skills.