Finding Stability in Community: Bianca’s Juma Story

For Bianca, Juma has been a lifeline to stability at a time of turmoil. When she moved from San Francisco to Sacramento, the pace of life shifted. As an eighteen-year-old, she was also at the cusp of adult life–a time when she needed to begin making big decisions about her future. At Juma, she found a place to work through those choices with the support of a management team dedicated to helping her become the person she wants to be alongside a network of other young people working through those same milestones.

“Juma is a really good job for people who are trying to get paid and get serious about their work ethic,” Bianca explains. “Everyone has to start somewhere and Juma is a great place for that.” She recalls her first experience at the ballpark and how it was exciting to be in a professional sports venue for the first time, despite feeling like a small fish in a big pond. That day kicked off a new phase of Bianca’s life in which she’d hone her communication skills and work ethic while finding the safety and stability to start thinking about who she wanted to be.

Prior to Juma, Bianca had worked internships but never a job where her role was a crucial part of the process that determined the success of a shift. She had also never worked in a team setting where she felt responsible for being there for her teammates as much as for her own performance. Working with a team of young people going through similar transitions into adulthood gave Bianca a comfortable space to build relationships and learn to communicate both on and off the job.

“Even my sister told me before that I needed to work on my communication,” Bianca says, recalling how she’s learned to give plenty of advance notice if she is going to be late or miss a shift. “Juma gave me a reason to be there for my team. I learned to work with other people.” Bianca also credits Juma with improving her work ethic. While she was always a hard worker, understanding how her role fits into a team structure and how important communication is to the overall success of a shift has given Bianca new insight into how her work contributes to larger goals.

Juma has also provided Bianca with the stability to begin considering her future. With the support of her managers and the Juma programs team, she’s learned to save money and to budget. She’s also learned to responsibly manage credit. Today, she sets aside a portion of her paycheck to cover her rent and bills as soon as it comes in and avoids incurring credit card debt.

A year and a half in, Bianca enjoys knowing she can rely on her coworkers and the Juma team. “It’s given me the stability to look forward to my future,” Bianca says. She dreams of becoming a lawyer or going into business, beginning with community college and then going on to a university. For now, she’s grateful to be starting school again in the spring and looking forward to continuing with a supportive community that she knows will be there for her every step of the way.