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success stories

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cory

Cory released on August 5th of 2022. Before he was released, he said he had many fears of being able to find a job and a place to live, due to his criminal history. However, those fears were soon allayed. “When I got out of Oregon State Penitentiary, I had a huge advantage because I was not alone and had family and friends for a place to live, and Nancy to help with finding not just a job, but the right job.”

Cory found out about Opportunity Oregon while he was still inside doing the HVAC program at the Oregon State Penitentiary. He turned in his Opportunity Oregon application prior to finishing his program, and with 3 years left of his sentence. Cory decided to work with Opportunity Oregon “Because she (Nancy) has been through the same challenges and came out a successful woman that truly cares about the people being released.”

Cory received help with his resume and cover letter, and went to lunch and saw that Nancy really wanted what was best for his life, both now and in the future.  “She even went to the interview with me and I got the job while still in the parking lot.” Cory had a job within 2 weeks of release and is employed at a local HVAC company as a Senior Service Technician, where he makes great pay plus sales bonuses. He also received a Christmas bonus, training in his field, and has a full benefit package. His work experience in the ODOC (Oregon Department of Corrections) was also instrumental in getting his new job, as he was able to get his electrical license and his journeyman certificate while inside.

Cory believes his success is due in great part to the help and support he was given. Along with his new job, Cory was just approved to buy his first home, is getting married and recently purchased his first brand new car. He said he is the person all his friends and family know they can depend on. Cory also attended the Oregon State Penitentiary Fair Chance Career with Opportunity Oregon as a success story and was able to share his new life with old friends and staff inside. “If you truly want success, never give up on your version of that goal and always accept the help that is offered by people who are going where you want to go.” 

Lee

Lee released from prison on February 8th of 2023. Before he was released, he had uncertainty in the job market after 11 years of being in prison. “My last experience was in 2008 and the market was unkind to felons. Now, if you want to work, it’s easier.”

Lee found out about Opportunity Oregon through a workshop at Sponsors Inc. in Eugene, a release facility where he was living. After the workshop, he started working with Nancy a day or two later. Lee chose to work with Opportunity Oregon because “I needed a job, Nancy had connections and she thought she could get me hired quickly. She had an interview scheduled for me within 36 hours of submitting my application and resume. Nancy helped me rewrite my resume and cover letter, submitted it to my employer, and drove me to the interview with copies of my resume and cover letter. I was hired full time on the spot.”

After no luck finding work in the previous 3 weeks, Lee said that it took him 10 days to find a job once he started working with Opportunity, and that he wouldn’t have looked to his current employer if it hadn’t been for Opportunity and their connections. He is working full time at a manufacturing company and along with his regular duties, he is also a graveyard backup lead. Lee applied the same work ethic from employment inside the Oregon Department of Corrections to the job that he has now, and has excelled because of it. He makes a livable wage, has a full benefit package and received a year end bonus equal to 2% of his annual pay.  Lee said he has been investing and is close to retiring early. “If all goes well, I will own my own home by the end of this year.”

“God bless Nancy and the work she does. It is a great help to us, and me personally. After meeting her, I had an interview in a few days and was hired on the spot. With results like that, need I say more?” 

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Ben

Ben was released from prison on March 3rd, 2023. Ben found out about Opportunity Oregon from a current adult in custody inside of the Oregon State Penitentiary, and started the application process a month after release. He decided to work with Opportunity Oregon because "they were sincere in helping me.” Prior to his release after 23 years in prison, his confidence level wasn't there, but he was soon able to overcome that. "Opportunity Oregon helped me with my confidence, resumes, cover letters and prepared me for interviews. Without Opportunity Oregon, I wouldn't have the confidence or the skills to do the resume."

Ben’s work experience in the Oregon Department of Corrections transferred to his new job. "I took restorative justice, transformative justice and worked in the behavioral health unit. All of which gave me skills to successfully do my current job.” Along with great pay and full benefits, his employment comes with a life insurance plan.

Even though Ben released into Clackamas County, Opportunity Oregon was able to remotely assist him, just as they do with the recently released all over the state. "I'm nine months out. I have a job that offers opportunities for advancement. I have an apartment, a car and am starting my own cleaning business. I haven’t participated in Opportunity Oregon outreach events, but I’m going to ask Miss Nancy about that."

"Opportunity Oregon has been a GREAT HELP for me. I've said thanks to them many times, but would like to say it again. Thanks for all the time you've invested in me. You have no clue how much I appreciate you."

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