It was time to do something different. Time to break free of the past and try something new. That’s exactly what Randi did when she decided to escape the destructive routine that had become her everyday, and make an intentional change to start working toward a future she could be proud of.
Like many women struggling to achieve self-sufficiency, Randi got tangled up in some troublesome choices – choices that eventually led to incarceration. But, when she became eligible for work-release, Randi opted to make a drastic leap-of-faith. She enrolled in the Transition’s New Leaf Bakery & Café program, a unique food-service job-training curriculum that offers women facing barriers to employment a chance to begin again, with skills and support that make a lasting difference.
The New Leaf Bakery is an education-based fast-pace commercial catering kitchen that affords participants real-life, hands-on work experience. The program requires a 6-month commitment, and participants are expected to show up on-time, ready to work, five days a week.
“This isn’t easy. But I love the challenge because it’s teaching me a different way to do things,” Randi says. “Anything I can do to help me move forward … that’s what I am going to do.”
She’s not alone. In 2017, 43 women accessed one-on-one job-readiness training, and 80% of kitchen trainees went on to further schooling or employment. Support services led by a vocational specialist include resume building, interview practice and placement assistance.
“The guidance, the support here … it’s incredible,” Randi says.
But the truly incredible thing about this program might just be the future, the plans, the hopeful aspirations it creates.
Randi’s sentence will be complete by early spring and she dreams of one day opening her very own bakery.
“There will be quiche. And everything sweet,” she says. “Failure is not an option.”