Volunteer Spotlight: Refugee Services Employment Success Coach Janet Lopez

Janet Lopez has served as the AmeriCorps Employment Success Coach for Catholic Charities’ Refugee Services program since November 2016. Her job, which is multi-faceted and changes daily, is to give people the support and tools they need to eventually become self-sufficient.

She teaches a job-readiness and financial literacy class twice a month to help clients prepare for the workforce. The class, which is interactive and allows students to participate in their own learning, includes personality assessments developed for career and skill exploration, creating household budgets, resume writing tips and mock interviews. “The class gives our clients the confidence they need to go out and search for their own jobs,” Janet says.

Outside of class, she meets with clients one-on-one and assists them with job searches, applications, resumes, cover letters and interview techniques. Janet’s favorite part of the work is getting to know the clients. “You can learn so much about someone when they talk about their work experience and what they are passionate about,” she believes.

She always reminds clients that their past work experience and skills are relevant and important. Janet especially enjoys being able to help someone with a specific profession or skill set find a career in their field.

“I believe my work is important because employment is one of the most universal and basic human rights. Everyone wants to have meaningful work they’re passionate about,” Janet says. She has seen firsthand how empowered people become when they can provide for themselves and their families and, in turn, contribute to their community in effective ways.

Janet knows that her work would not be possible without the support, guidance and unwavering passion of Stephen Lack, Lilian Alvarez and the entire Refugee Services team, who works tirelessly with their clients to achieve their goals.

The clients that the Refugee Services team serve bring knowledge and experience from all corners of the world, making our community stronger. Janet believes, “Empowering the immigrant and refugee community is important and necessary because they are important contributors to the economic stability of our city and country.” Thank you for your service, Janet!