Barzilai Apprenticeship Program supports hardworking teen unexpectedly on his own:

The Barzilai Apprenticeship Program has another success. The Barzilai Foundation partnered with the EV Foundation to generate an employment opportunity and provide personal support for another member of the Gibraltar community. With the new role of Maintenance Worker for a local public services institution, paired with professional and personal development, the apprenticeship program is again creating opportunity for an individual facing long odds.

The role will be filled by DJ, an 18-year-old facing a challenging situation. DJ recently found himself put out on the street, along with his younger brother, and unexpectedly forced to support himself, without a job or housing, all while still enrolled in secondary school. Additionally, DJ lacked basic living materials and resources, like work clothes and a bank account. DJ found himself thrust into life as an independent adult, with circumstances stacked against him.

DJ is no stranger to hard work. For the past year he has done odd jobs supporting his local community through the EV Foundation, and taken on seasonal work at a local restaurant, proving he is a dependable, hard-working contributor. However, the ad hoc nature of these jobs paired with DJ’s inability to speak Spanish made it impossible for him to find long-term, steady employment.

The Barzilai Foundation and EV Foundation worked hard to design solutions to help DJ reach a more stable place in his life. The creation of the Maintenance Worker role was the first step. Pairing this with emergency housing followed by a long-term housing solution, DJ has a safe place to live while developing financial independence.

“I want to say thank you to the EV Foundation and The Barzilai foundation for helping me when I needed it the most, for helping me when I thought I had no one,” DJ expressed his gratitude. “I am so thankful for everything they have done and continue to do for me. It has been a great impact in my life.”

In addition to employment and housing, the Barzilai Foundation and the EV Foundation are working closely with DJ to establish financial stability through obtaining a bank account and implementing a savings plan, as well as increasing future employability with lessons in Spanish and professional development basics.

This work is another demonstration of the partnership between the Barzilai Foundation and the EV Foundation, a front line Gibraltar-based organization focused on assisting financially disadvantaged families.

“To some people this might sound like a simple job opportunity. It isn't! It is more than a job. It is more than an opportunity. This is a lifeline!” said Nicole Jones founder of EV Foundation.

“We have opened a door for him and will now give him different keys and the more keys given, the more doors that will open naturally. This is the type of individual that we need to go a long way for. The ones that have no one. The ones who without a Foundation like ours, would never make it.”

“Our mission is to change people’s life trajectory for the better, and I can’t think of a better point in time to support someone than when they are truly starting out on their own,” added Brandon Sosa, CEO of the Barzilai Foundation. “Now DJ is on the path to a better life. For most young people who are thrust into homelessness and poverty, there is little chance of making something of themselves. I am so happy to think of how different DJ’s life can be with this opportunity.”