Takoda Worked for Joshua!

Takoda Works helped Joshua find a job and gain momentum for his future.
Felicia Sherrod, Recruitment & Marketing Specialist

In December 2018 Joshua A. began working with Shirleen and Samantha in the Minneapolis Youth Works program.

“I had a lot of struggle and I was tired of going through the same things over and over again.”

Shirleen and Samantha worked with Joshua to create a plan that helped Josh see how he could succeed and the steps to take to get there.

“I was set up with clothing and transportation assistance which was the biggest help, at first. Shirleen told me about Job Corps so I enrolled.”

Joshua has since earned a Data Entry and Technology certification and has gotten a job making the money that he needs to afford an apartment. Joshua will begin working on a college degree this fall at Saint Paul College where he will study Sports Science.

“What I plan to do is finish in that program and go on to work in fitness and sports medicine inspiring people to get fit and healthy. I thank Sam and Shirleen for making me feel like I have family out here.”











Journey Story: Linda

The story below was written by a client of Takoda Work’s SOAR program, which helps individuals with criminal histories gain skills and employment.
The client’s name has been changed to protect their privacy.

My name is Linda, I am 22 years old. I had gotten myself into a little bit of a phase as I was dealing with depression and hopelessness. I was in a dark place in my life and ended up getting myself arrested. With my charges it became harder for me to get a job.

I heard about the Takoda Works at American Indian OIC and that they may be able to help me with some of my problems. So one day I built up the courage, put my pride aside, and went in to ask for help. I was referred to an agency program that works with Minneapolis Youth at Takoda. The case manager I met with explained to me what the program was about and listed what would be expected of me. The case manager contacted me and referred me to the SOAR Program. At first I was cautious and uncertain if this was the step I wanted to take.

I met with staff that truly goes above and beyond to help. Everything was at my pace and communication was regular which I appreciated very much. The program was interesting and very helpful. The incentives were definitely a plus. My rent was a huge stressor and I got help with that. I needed some help with my cell phone as I could not afford minutes but how was I going to stay in touch with the SOAR team or employers?

The SOAR program helped me with one month cell minutes.  They really supported me in my ups and downs. Whenever I came in but did not have an appointment staff took time to see me. I recommend this program to family, friends, and complete strangers because it was really helpful for me and I’m happy I took the time to do something positive for myself. I’m grateful for the strong, positive, genuine, and caring staff I worked with and continue to work with.













Juana builds a career to support her family

Juana enrolled in Takoda Works’ BUILD program to build skills and find employment.

Samantha Fairbanks, Social Worker 

Juana, a mother of two, was working at McDonalds for 9 years. She eventually earned a manager position making $12.05 an hour, but Juana wanted to build a career—somewhere she could make enough money to support her family.  

Juana came to Takoda through the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), and she was referred to the BUILD program by her case manager. The BUILD program is an intensive work program to help Native youth build work and life skills. The first 7 weeks consisted of life skills training and work ethics. The participants were then placed into a 9-week internship in the community.  

Juana was a great asset to the program. She was always on time and prompt and eventually began helping staff set up programming. She even took it upon herself to organize the BUILD program’s graduation party. She was always willing to help. In addition to the BUILD program, Juana completed Takoda Institute’s IT Fundamentals course and earned an industry certificate in Customer Service. 

The internship is where Juana started to bloom. She organized her own internship with Baby Space where she helped watch the children and did office work on the side. Her supervisor spoke very highly of her and always gave her an excellent review. From the beginning, her supervisor knew she wanted to hire Juana to work for Baby Space. She told their board, “if we don’t hire her, someone else will.”  

As soon as her internship ended, Juana was hired on full time as an Administrative Assistant at Baby Space making $15 an hour. She has been with Baby Space for over 2 months and eventually will begin training in Early Childhood education with the company to expand her career.  

 Takoda and the BUILD program not only helped Juana prepare for a career, but helped her find a job in a company that values her growth and potential. “Thank you for telling my story. I really appreciated everything you did for me and bettering my life for my little family,” says Juana.