After 1 ½ years of working hard and performing well at her job, Regina Lomeli was at first stunned, and then plain dismayed, when told her services were no longer needed. What appeared to be more obvious was that her replacement was someone who did not come with the sensitive demands a soon-to-be mother would have in the near future. Regina was left despondent, six months pregnant, without a job, and with a daughter on the way.
As she pondered her future, Regina was all too familiar with this kind of reaction from employers when it came to the special work-related considerations of a single mother, being raised by one herself. And now, there she was, a single parent with her own concerns about her daughter Jalena’s well-being. She had to figure out a way to secure better opportunities for her newly formed family of two.
Regina desperately recognized that she was in the same cycle of hardship her mother had gone through. Seeking out help from the Department of Public Social Services she was connected to their GAIN program (Greater Avenues for Independence), working with Linda Choy, a career advisor with LACOE (Los Angeles County Office of Education). Regina shared with Linda her likes and interests, as well as her experience. Together they decided that Regina’s prior work in warehouse distribution would make her well suited for East Los Angeles College’s (ELAC) Technology & Logistics Program.
New to college, Regina was not sure what to expect when she showed up to class apprehensive about how well would she do. She quickly found out that the Technology & Logistics Program had a comprehensive support system that would help her succeed. Regina noted, “Linda Choy and the ELAC logistics staff have really worked with me to make sure that I get the help that I need. Professor Garcia and the other ELAC instructors keep the classes interesting and I am really enjoying being part of the program.”
Regina has made significant progress through the program, even obtaining job placement at United Parcel Service (UPS) due to her prior experience and now enriched education in logistics from ELAC. She wishes to continue growing within the company and expounds, “I want to work in the hub in Ontario where I can possibly one day work international freight assignments requiring special security clearance. That just sounds so exciting to me.” Regina is wholeheartedly motivated to continue advancing in the Technology & Logistics Program because it will provide her with the education to progress further and add value to her career.
She adds, “The Logistics Program supports my education and has helped me get back to work. I don’t want to depend on help forever and they are helping me help myself. I want to be independent and someday even provide a house for my daughter and mother.” Regina has now set attainable goals of transferring to one of the California State universities that offer Global Logistics and/or Supply-Chain Management after she obtains her Associate of Science in Technology
Regina shares her new founded outlook, “I was once devalued for being a mother, but my daughter has brought me the most value and inspiration to my life. Getting an education is going to make sure that I can provide for my daughter’s future. I am going to make sure my Jalena has more opportunity than I had. I promise…, mom will get you there.”