The real Careership story is alumni success
Class of 2007
Claudia has long been a volunteer worker in social justice, and with indigenous people's movements and homeless youth. She earned her living in cutting and styling hair and is a trained hands-on healer. As Claudia completed her BA in professional communications and Indian ethnic studies at Metropolitan State University in 2007, she was looking for a way to turn her volunteer experience into a paid profession. Careership gave Claudia the opportunity to expand her knowledge in the environmental justice field and build connections between Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota (EJAM) and the American Indian community and other communities. Her flexibility served her well in EJAM's shared leadership and grassroots work. Claudia's ability to forge relationships among diverse people in order to create a more equitable and peaceful world made her a bridge-builder among her Careership peers. Early in 2008, those skills served her well when she was hired by East Side Neighborhood Development Company and its Prosperity Campaign to help connect community residents to economic opportunity.
Class of 2002
Ramon Leon learned all of the transferable skills he brought to the Careership program from his "roll up your sleeves" approach to life. Ramon had more than 20 years of experience working in and owning a third-generation family upholstery business in Mexico and the United States. He also had a two-year degree in business administration from Mexico. In addition to his management expertise, he knew personally about many of the issues faced by new immigrant businesses. After getting involved in church-based organizing for the betterment of the Latino community, he was an early leader in organizing the 40+ business members of the Cooperativa at Mercado Centrale on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Ramon has a great talent for identifying resources and establishing mutually beneficial relationships. He did his Careership apprenticeship in 2002 (along with a part-time job) at Whittier CDC, where he provided intake services for Spanish speaking clients and learned how to package small-business loans. Ramon's work at Whittier helped nurture the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), which became an independent, statewide nonprofit development organization in 2003. Ramon became LEDC's first executive director and has applied his strong work ethic and philosophy to build a solid reputation and foundation for the organization. LEDC has grown to seven staff members and has an annual operating budget of over $1 million. The organization sends new employees and business development staff in-training to Careership each year as a professional development strategy.
Class of 2007
Nelima has worked for 12 years in Africa and the United States in human rights, at the same time volunteering through her church and college tutoring programs. She holds an associate of arts degree and certificate in women's studies from Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and a bachelor of arts degree in international management and women's studies from Hamline University. After traveling through neighborhoods in north Minneapolis and the northwest suburbs, Nelima wanted to learn how to mobilize African American and immigrant communities to advocate for improved access to jobs, goods, and services. As a Careership apprentice, Nelima worked for the Harrison Neighborhood Association and learned about its anti-racism work and community benefits negotiation around the Basset Creek redevelopment project. She was hired full-time by the association before her apprenticeship ended and continues there today as housing and community organizer. In her non-work hours, Nelima is a talented spoken word artist who has performed at events for the Changing the Face of Housing Initiative events, Aeon Homes, and the Minneapolis Public Library.