Apprenticeship Program Creates Opportunity for Mother to Support Family and Impact Community

As part of the Barzilai Apprenticeship Program, the Barzilai Foundation has partnered with the EV Foundation to create another employment opportunity that will directly expand EV’s support for low-income families in Gibraltar. The apprenticeship program will give a local Gibraltar family the opportunity for financial independence and will go beyond just employment to work on both professional and personal development.

The EV Foundation’s role of Office Assistant has been filled by Bernadette, a Gibraltar native and single mother of three, who has already begun working with vulnerable families in the Gibraltar community.

As a teenage mother Bernadette overcame many challenges. She attended the Gibraltar College and got a level 2 diploma in Business AS. However, some missteps found Bernadette out of work and with two younger children to care for, unable to find stable employment that would also allow her to attend to her family as a single parent. She has rebuilt her life to become a positive influence in the community and the apprenticeship program is the perfect opportunity for her to continue on that path and give her family a bright future.

“This job has changed my life,” Bernadette enthusiastically shared. “It has not only changed the life for my three kids and my mom but has also changed me. It has given me self-esteem, and confidence. I feel so good knowing that I am not just helping my family but also helping others in my work with EV.”

The role will give a significant boost to local community charity EV Foundation who first encountered Bernadette as a mother in need and a family to support. EV Foundation founder Nicole Jones said, “Bernadette is an unwrapped gift. The more layers you unwrap of her, the more you realise how skillful, eager, enthusiastic, talented, responsible and hardworking she is.”

The Barzilai Foundation is proud of extending its Apprenticeship Program impact both by helping another family gain independence, but also in creating another person in the community who is empowered to in turn help others who are struggling. The program allows the foundation to do more than just help provide employment, but also to work with individuals in growing skills and needs so they can excel and don’t find themselves back where they started.

“It could be easy for any teenage mother let that define who they are. But she overcame the odds and continued her studies, got a diploma, and built a career,” said Brandon Sosa, CEO of the Barzilai Foundation. “Now as a single mother on benefits Bernadette could have again let that be what defined her. But she is choosing to work, to be a role model for her children and other mother’s facing similar challenges that she now is helping. With her track record I feel optimistic about this family’s future and we are so proud to be a part of enabling their path forward.”

The role of office assistant has already put Bernadette in a position to directly work with vulnerable families, “This job has given me a purpose in being able to help others,” she proclaims. “I feel so good doing something that actually makes a difference for others.”