<p>From left to right: Apprentice Lisa, Director of Operations and Training Colin, and apprentice Leslie.</p>
<p>In early 2021, Lisa was discouraged about job hunting after being out of the workforce for over 10 years. Prior to that, she held temporary positions of no more than nine months. She applied to Touch A Heart and we accepted her into our foodservice internship program with no cooking or baking experience. After she graduated in April 2021, we offered her the opportunity to continue with us as an apprentice, and she has since become a dedicated and steadfast team member in our Baker's Heart and Kupuna and Family Meals employment social enterprises.
"Every day that I come to work, I have to step out of my comfort zone." she said. "The thing that's made the biggest difference during this time is that I reconnected with God. My faith and trust are stronger as I've built a relationship with God. I'm more at peace and I'm happier."
While with us, Lisa has learned the value of teamwork and developed a solid work ethic. "Each person has a strength, and when we all work at our strength, we can accomplish more," she noted. She's also made many memories, including fun times in the kitchen with her fellow apprentice Leslie playing music, Chef Curtis dancing, and our Director of Operations and Training Colin rapping.
"This is a unique place in that all interns are going through the same thing so they understand each other," Lisa emphasized. "Touch A Heart understands the special requirements of being in pre-trial. The community at Kalihi Union Church has been so accepting. Everyone—the pastors, front office staff, preschool teachers, members of Joy Fellowship—has welcomed me and shown unconditional love. Sometimes I come to work and forget what I'm up against."
Lisa holds an associate's degree and a certificate in substance abuse counseling. She aspires to get her bachelor's degree and work with adolescents. "My life will be on hold while in prison, but that's my dream," she said.
Lisa was recently sentenced to 30 months. We'll be sure to update you on her last day with us and invite you to write to her while she's away.</p>