Maria Campos had high hopes for her daughter when Isamar Campos sat down for an interview with Starbucks.
Isamar, 17, heard about a job fair in Los Angeles from her sister. The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative Hiring Fair and Forum (Feb. 11) seemed promising because it was a gathering of more than 30 of the nation’s top employers, including Starbucks. Maria drove Isamar to the job fair.
“I didn’t even know if I was going to have a chance to get an interview,” said Isamar. “When I found out I could meet with Starbucks, I was really nervous.”
Maria was anxious too.
While she waited, Maria began talking with a man nearby who was congratulating the young adults as they emerged from interviews with job offers. She told the man how she had to stop working for many years while she was being treated for breast cancer. Maria was happy to report she has been cancer-free for exactly one year.
As Maria discussed how grateful she was for the recent diagnosis, she also mentioned a new wish. She told the man she wanted to work again, but at 55, she didn’t think anyone would be looking to hire her.
The Last Interview of the Day
The 100,000 Opportunities Fair and Forum in Los Angeles was designed for young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who aren’t working and aren’t in school. “But the greater goal is to provide opportunity for all,” said Miguel Lozano, the person Maria had been chatting with. “I told her, if she’s serious, we could get her in for an interview.
Lozano is a Starbucks vice president for regional operations and has been with the company for 20 years.
Isamar completed her interview and was “amazed and excited to be hired on the spot.” She said, “I never believed this would happen when I woke up this morning.”
She also never imagined her mother would end up sitting down for a job interview – the last person to be interviewed that day.
“I was almost more nervous for her,” said Isamar. “I’m not sure who cried more, me or my mom, when we found out she got a job offer too. We are both going to be wearing green aprons and working at Starbucks. This is amazing.”
The Next Opportunity
Miguel Lozano presented a Starbucks green apron to mother and daughter and said it’s an honor to help make their dreams come true.
“Being a leader in Starbucks allows me to open so many doors for people by hiring them, developing them and promoting them,” Lozano said. “It’s humbling and inspiring to open the door for this mother and daughter. I know it will change their lives.”
Members of the Campos family acknowledge there will be changes ahead. Isamar, who is in a home studies program, will need to balance her school work and a job. Maria will face challenges as she returns to the workforce for the first time in more than a decade; however she said she sees this as “motivation to continue fighting for her life.”
“Maybe we could get a new house, because she’s wanted to do that forever and she’s wanted to work forever,” Isamar added. “I’m really excited about our family’s future now.”
Two members of the Campos family were among the more than 1,000 who were offered jobs during the 100,000 Opportunities Hiring Fair in LA. The massive job fair followed hiring fairs and forums in Chicago and Phoenix.
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