Creating opportunities

Volunteers help Massachusetts youth find their first job

Volunteers help Massachusetts youth find their first job

For many people who come from poor households, access to university is impossible. The organization Bottom Line breaks down the economic and social barriers and provides many young people with the means and support to undertake higher education.

But their work does not end when they finish studying; volunteers offer young people counseling to help them efficiently look for jobs, helping them to prepare their CV, teaching them to communicate their worth and to feel safe when having an interview.

Thanks to this program many young people today have the opportunity to change their lives.

Tips for moving forward

On May 5th, 2020 I received a connection request from Geraldine Galvis, a student involved in the Bottom Line student aid project, who graduated from Suffolk University in 2020 and was featured in the Bottom Line graduation ceremony video. Geraldine wasn’t sure where she should direct her future due to the pandemic and sought professional advice on her best options for moving forward.

A few days after that first contact, I talked to Geraldine for an hour about what her plans for the future might be. She then asked me to review her resume and presentation letter and also to share any comments with her. I reviewed her already impressive resume and gave her some suggestions on how to make her presentation letter stand out from all the others a potential company could receive. Geraldine immediately began using her updated cover letter and soon got not only an interview, but a second interview with a large law firm in Boston. I supported Geraldine all the way, encouraged her and asked her to tell me how her second interview went. I was thrilled when she answered and told me that she had been offered the job and had started in her new position the day before. Geraldine said: “Thank you for all your suggestions, they worked! I honestly believe that your recommendation letter template and your comments got me the job. Right after our talk, I edited my presentation letter and this company was the first one I sent it to. Thanks a million times! I really appreciate your help“. I thanked Geraldine for her kind words, but reminded her kindly, that although I gave her some suggestions, she had earned the position with her hard work.

I’m very proud of Geraldine and incredibly happy for her. She has promised that we’ll keep in touch. I know this is only the first of many wonderful days for Geraldine, and I’m honored to have put in my grain of sand. Thank you, MAPFRE, for giving your employees this fantastic opportunity to collaborate in virtual volunteering!

Melissa A. Widing

Volunteer of Fundación MAPFRE