Testimony to the Committee on Business, Consumer & Regulatory Affairs

Monday, March 7th, 2016

Testifying: Karen Privado, Student at the Latin American Youth Center’s WISE Program

Re: Department of Employment Services (DOES) Oversight Hearing

Hello Council members, Committee Chair, and committee members. My name is Karen Privado and I am currently a student at the Latin American Youth Center’s Workforce Investment Program, known as WISE. I am here to give a testimony about my experience as a student at WISE.

When I was in between the ages of 16/17, I didn’t like high school. I thought a high school diploma wasn’t important at that time and I was under the influence most of the time. I wasn’t in the right grade and fell behind and dropped out of school.

After I dropped out, I decided to try something else since I was still under 18 and still had to attend school. I found out about LAYC’s WISE program and started attending but was still in the mindset that getting my GED or high school diploma wasn’t important.

And so when I turned 18 I got a job. A couple of months later I got pregnant. Extremely worried about not knowing how things were going to turn out, I kept thinking how my life would be if I didn’t further my education with a child. I had to change my life for my son and I decided to go back to WISE. They helped me get back on my feet with GED classes and provided me with a daycare voucher. Their supportive staff is what motivated me to do better. I am still attending WISE and looking forward to getting my GED and becoming an entrepreneur very soon!

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my testimony.

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