Success Stories
Ronald
Bus Servicer
Ronald is one of the most likeable guys you’ll ever meet. Consistently upbeat, a hard worker, and someone who believes in making things work right. He made it clear when he was accepted into Cara that his goal was a permanent job with the Chicago Transit Authority. But those positions don’t come easy.

So first, Ronald put in two solid years of hard work in the Second Chance Program. He also attended every meeting to make his desire known, and all the while he constantly monitored the job board for openings. Over time, he realized the best way to be seen as a candidate for permanency was to get his commercial driver’s license permit. So, he went after that with the same dedication that he put forth in his job. And it worked! Congratulations to Ronald, the newest permanent Bus Servicer with the Chicago Transit Authority. Now when the buses run on time, you can bet Ronald’s been hard at work making sure.
Charlene
Combined Rail Operator
There was a time when Charlene was homeless, without employment direction, and living in a shelter. Since joining Cara, Charlene has found the support, guidance, and relationships she had always been missing. Add to that her can-do attitude and Charlene was able to transform herself from a past that led to darkness, into a present full of direction and promise. And it all began with work.

Charlene got hired in the Chicago Transit Authority apprenticeship program. Soon after, she was brought on full-time as a Flagman. She has recently been promoted to Combined Rail Operator and given a 27% salary increase. She continues to work her way up the career ladder. In a few years, she’ll be up to $32 an hour. Let’s all congratulate Charlene for moving down the right track to a better future.
Oreletta
Program Navigation Coordinator
For years, Oreletta struggled with addiction – even as a single parent to five children, the youngest just two months old. Aware she had to make a change, Oreletta took the critical first steps to recovery with the grace and foundation of St. Sylvester Shelter, which eventually led her to Cara.

Cara showed Oreletta the one thing that would change everything – her own value. Oreletta was able to tap into her true self and find the motivation to make the necessary changes to get back on her feet. Today, Oreletta works at Rush University Medical Center as a breast cancer Program Navigation Coordinator, supporting women throughout Chicago as they fight back and rebuild their life against the fear, loneliness, and lack of hope not uncommon to cancer. She sees embers of herself in these women and wears their struggles as she listens to their stories. Ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it. Thanks Oreletta for teaching us this and so much more! Read Oreletta's full story in our most recent Performance Update and hear her share her story of sobriety with her Transformations Trainer, Tiya.
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