When a representative from Juma gave a presentation at Trinidad’s school, she was immediately excited about the opportunity. She had never been in a professional sports stadium and the idea of getting to talk to so many people and work with people her own age sounded like a fun way to earn income.
On her first shift at Oracle Park, she realized that being in front of so many people in such a high-energy environment could be nerve wracking, but also exhilarating. As she walked among the stands carrying a heavy carafe of hot chocolate, she was nervous, but thought back to her Juma vendor training. “It felt like we were all in this together so there was no need to be shy…being in a new type of situation helped me break down my boundaries and get to know other Juma youth,” Trinidad recalls.
While the Covid-19 pandemic put working at the ballpark on hold, she was still happy to learn skills like resume-writing and professional communication through Juma’s online workshops. “The resume writing workshop showed me how words can change the way that you’re perceived,” she explains. Trinidad also learned the ropes of personal finance. Today, she puts away a little bit of her income from each paycheck–money she hopes will come in handy when she moves out and heads off to college.
With the threat from Covid-19 lessening enough for some in-person activities to resume, Trinidad has been excited to take every opportunity to stand up and speak out. Prior to Juma, she found speaking up difficult but the safety and support she received at Juma gave her the confidence to use her voice. She is a member of the Juma Youth Leadership Council and also volunteers as a Juma ambassador whenever the chance comes up to speak about her Juma experience. She enjoys pushing herself to take on leadership roles whenever possible.
“People rely on me now,” Trinidad says of her position within Juma. “I went from being a vendor to a lead to a manager-in-training. I also can show people how to lead and how to rise above just being a team player. I’ve learned to be a good problem solver.” While initially she was scared that her co-workers might treat her differently once she was promoted, she quickly realized that was not the case. Rather, she found a community of support where her peers cheered her on as she took on greater responsibilities.
One day, Trinidad hopes to use her interest in communication and networking to speak out for a wider community. “Christian [Juma San Francisco Enterprise Manager], once brought up a good point–that Juma is meant to be more than just a job. That they want us to learn new things and grow and get more comfortable with ourselves and each other,” says Trinidad. And with her determination and outgoing personality, she’s taken advantage of every opportunity to learn those new skills and grow in confidence so that she is sure to be an amazing advocate wherever she takes her talents in the future.