Student Story: Erick


Erick started working when he was 12 and has supported himself since the age of 16. But when he became a father, he knew he needed to do more to give his family the life he wanted for them. He came across a few job opportunities, but they weren’t enough. Struggling to make ends meet, Erick found himself in the shelter system and didn’t know what to do—until he learned about STRIVE.

Initially, Erick thought STRIVE would just be another program. He told his program director he was a cook, and to his surprise, the director answered, “Well, it sounds like you have the skills. Now all we need to do is help employers see that.” It was then that Erick realized STRIVE would do more than help him find a job; they would help him build the career of his dreams.

STRIVE provided Erick with clothing, toys, and a stroller for his children. While in our program, he learned to build healthy relationships with his family, provide for them, and start saving for their futures. He found jobs that allowed him to use his passion for cooking, now working at Whole Foods and moving up through the ranks to become a supervisor.

For the last seven years, Erick has been a STRIVE ambassador, speaking at our Stand Up For Dads event in 2017 and now attending the 35th Anniversary Gala to share his story. Erick has been able to create a life for himself and his family, and STRIVE has been with him every step of the way.