Donna’s road to Juma was not easy. After giving birth to her son, she was laid off at her job and found herself homeless and living out of her car. It was during these dark moments that she found Juma. She states, “As I was going through all of my trials and tribulations, one day I made the decision to ‘let go and let God’. By that, I mean I stopped trying to figure everything out on my own.”


After struggling to find childcare, Donna was able to attend a Juma information session and quickly signed up to work at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. Her first day proved challenging, since reliable childcare for her son continued to be a problem. However, since Juma continued to support Donna’s goals and enabled her to continue working, she quickly earned a promotion as Vendor Lead. She attributes her success to the continued support of her Juma team: “Juma is so much more than a job; it gives you the opportunity to be something bigger.”

At Juma, Donna learned interpersonal, customer service, and leadership skills. She says, “I’ve learned how to work with diverse people and with busy crowds. I’ve learned how to be a barista which I never thought would be so hard. I’ve also learned how to lead others and gain respect, as well as, give it. I’m also learning how social enterprise operations work. It is a different perspective!”

Donna has since been promoted to Enterprise Assistant Manager and tries to give the same support to her team that she received in the past. “Juma is important to me, and I want Juma to succeed in order to help more people like me,”Donna states.

Reflecting on her past, she says, “I always wanted to be a probation officer for youth and my backup plan if that didn’t happen was to work in an office. With my Assistant Manager role at Juma, it has been everything I ever wanted. I have the pleasure of working with youth, I work in an office, I’ve learned leadership, customer service and so much more. I still can’t believe this is real. This time last year, I was homeless with nothing. It was just me and my child but now I’m on my way–all thanks to Juma.”

Donna hopes to continue working with Juma, helping more young people find and grow their potential.

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