Meet Cheryl: A Bright Star with an Even Brighter Future

On the day Cheryl met up to share her story, classmates cheered for her from the schoolyard as if she were leaving for some big Hollywood movie premiere.

The scene was rather fitting, actually. Ask those who know Cheryl best – her family and friends, Lisa her mentor, Zachary her boss, or ECS staff – and they’ll all tell you the same thing: Cheryl is a star.

Having long-admired her parents’ work ethics, Cheryl realized she was at an age that she didn’t need to rely on their hard-earned incomes for her allowance. “I [wanted] to go out, gain experience, make my own money, and make them proud,” Cheryl said.

As a host site of the Philadelphia Youth Network’s WorkReady initiative, ECS connected Cheryl to a paid internship at Urbanstead and provided her with professionalism and leadership trainings.

Cheryl excelled in all the above. She and her peers even organized a drive to collect goods for women and children experiencing homelessness at St. Barnabas Mission.

As an intern, one of Cheryl’s projects was to install plant beds at The Living Room Café’s outdoor patio. The store’s owner, Zachary, was so impressed with her high level of professionalism that he later hired her as a part-time afterschool barista.

“ECS made me feel prepared. If I had never gone to ECS … I would have been a nervous wreck,” she said.

Though we guided her these past few months, we have a hunch that even without our help, Cheryl’s future is a bright one.

See for yourself.