Finding the Silver Lining: Daniel’s Juma Story

For Daniel, a senior in High School in San Francisco, the pandemic had already brought many challenges. After Daniel’s father, a restaurant cook, was laid off during the pandemic closures, the family decided to take in renters to help with bills. Unfortunately, a pipe burst in one of the tenant’s bathrooms, flooding the entire home. Daniel and his family were forced to flee to a nearby hotel where they had to make due with limited space and poor internet connectivity for the next three months.

At the hotel, Daniel faced a host of new challenges. On top of his school work, which was already suffering thanks to internet outages, he was now responsible for interfacing between his parents, the insurance company responsible for fixing their home, and the landlord. Because his parents speak very little English, Daniel became a constant go-between.

“It was really hard trying to maintain a job to help my family and stay on top of my school work while going through that,” Daniel recalled. Thankfully, after he finished an internship, his supervisor referred him to Juma.

Over the next several months Daniel participated in a dozen online classes through Juma which helped him earn a stipend to support his family. “My dad was bouncing from job to job because of restaurant closures. I was able to use what I saved from working at Juma to help pay rent,” explained Daniel. In addition to the stipend, he was also grateful to learn skills which would serve him later in life like budgeting, saving, building credit, interviewing for jobs, and creating a resume.

When stadiums opened back up, Daniel was excited to begin work at Oracle Park. While the experience was sometimes overwhelming, he was eager to learn the ins and outs of food preparation and delivery in a high volume environment. He’s enjoyed learning new skills including practicing open communication, which helped him form a great relationship with his Juma Manager.

While his senior year of high school was uniquely challenging, Daniel is still grateful for what those experiences taught him. “It helped me mature as a person,” says Daniel. In addition to the time management skills he learned from balancing school, helping out at home, and working, he also learned ways to seek out a helping hand. When the struggle felt like too much, Daniel was able to access a counselor through one of his teachers at school and begin working through some of his feelings in a safe environment.

Daniel now plans to begin community college with hopes of becoming a lawyer. “I want to help underrepresented people and make sure their voices are heard,” explains Daniel.