“Diplomas to Degrees” Participant Lands New Job

~ Suzanne Valascho, Community Relations Administrator, Central Region, Toyota Financial Services

This past year, I proudly helped to launch and now support our company’s Diplomas to Degrees (d2D) program at selected Boys & Girls Clubs in my area. In 2011, during d2D’s pilot year in Detroit, I met Jordan Evans, then a high school junior, who was a participant in the program and a part-time employee at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan NFL-Youth Education Town. While he enjoyed his job at the Club, he wanted to work more to help his family. This proved to be difficult as he did not yet have a driver’s license and since his parents shared only one car, it was also challenging to juggle everyone’s busy work schedules.

It’s difficult to land your first job, but it’s even harder when you can’t drive and have to rely on others for transportation. Like many big cities, drivers education is no longer taught in school in Michigan, which makes it difficult for teens to get their driver’s licenses and to get a job. I knew some of our local Toyota dealerships were hiring, but Jordan was not eligible for a position unless he had a driver’s license.

This past June, Jordan graduated from University High School, and this fall, he contacted me to see if I could make an introduction for him at Page Toyota in Southfield, Michigan since he now had his driver’s license. I am happy to say his interview went well and Jordan got the job — he started working for the dealership on November 5, 2013!

Through d2D, Jordan and I got to know each other well. His strong work ethic was evident, which made it easy for me to recommend Jordan for a position at one of our dealerships. Without the program and TFS, Jordan and I would not have met, and my chance to help him would not have ever happened.

I received a text from Jordan shortly after his interview: “Sue, thank you so much for the opportunity. I GOT THE JOB!!!!!! And, I will not let you down. Thanks again.”

Jordan, I am confident that you won’t let me down. Thank YOU for this opportunity.