Voices for Skills: Jeffrey from Pennsylvania

June 05, 2019

Jeffrey began his career at Philadelphia FIGHT in 2016 as a Community Health Worker Apprentice, where he served as a reliable, dependable, and trusted advocate for patients — helping them get to the doctor on time, supporting their health care needs, and translating “doctor speak” into everyday language that his clients can understand.

“People are afraid to go to the doctor,” Jeffrey said. “But when you have a community health worker to pick you up at your house and go with you, it’s so comfortable for the client that they begin to trust the health system.”

Jeffrey’s apprenticeship program involved 150 hours of classroom training at Temple University, coupled with on-the-job training through Philadelphia’s 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund.

“The apprenticeship program gave me an opportunity to keep succeeding,” he said. “I was committed to success and being gainfully employed and right after completing the program, I was employed full-time.”

Jeffrey remained committed to creating a better future for himself and others. He has become a mentor and a friend to clients and colleagues alike.

“Our apprenticeship program gives apprentices like Jeffrey an opportunity to build skills and have a career they can be proud of,” said Lorelei Gauthier, Chief Strategy Officer at Philadelphia FIGHT.

Since 2016, Jeffrey has been promoted to Assistant Case Manager and now a Re-entry Senior Support Specialist, helping those who have been incarcerated get back on their feet.

“When you help people access services, especially people coming home from incarceration, they live happier and healthier lives. They begin to see they have a life worth living,” Jeffrey said. “You have to build relationships with people. If you don’t, you don’t know their mind, so you can’t help. I’m committed and dedicated to that.”