From Unemployed to Employment Specialist
Quandarious’ Story: From Unemployed to Employment Specialist
In 2009, Quandarious Brinkley was pursuing his undergraduate degree, had just gotten married and was expecting his first child when he unexpectedly lost his job. After first looking to friends and family members for help, his mother suggested he call 2-1-1, United Way of Greater Atlanta’s contact center that connects individuals and families with the community-based resources they need to thrive.
Given the immense responsibilities on his shoulders, including the desire to provide for his growing family, Quandarious felt a sense of inadequacy. However, he made the call, and the help he received was supportive, comprehensive and most importantly, non-judgmental.
“It’s a very difficult conversation,” said Quandarious. “But the representative made me feel so comfortable to talk about my situation, to talk about my story. She listened and she gave me a great referral.”
The 2-1-1 representative helped him secure a one-time grant and directed him to career services at Goodwill, one of United Way of Greater Atlanta’s partners.
Paying It Forward
At that point, nearly seven years ago, Quandarious began working as a part-time custodian with Goodwill. He quickly regained financial stability. Not only that, but he stayed with Goodwill, finished his degree, and now works full-time as an Employment Specialist. Quandarious pays it forward every day by helping others regain employment.
“The emotional support that’s provided through 2-1-1 is limitless, and is so much appreciated,” said Quandarious.
Thanks in part to the help Quandarious received after calling 2-1-1 all those years ago, he and his son are doing great — and his son recently celebrated his 8th birthday!