From Timid to Transcending:
Aveena’s story

by Virgo Villajin, JIT STaff

“Every day felt like a challenge, always being the target of negative speeches about why I’m not good enough. I faced so much negativity that I believed it.”

That’s how JIT participant Aveena described her situation in 2019 before getting involved with our Just in Time community. She recalled all the expectations her adoptive family put on her and how it hardly left any energy or motivation for her to think about the trajectory of her future.

Aveena joined Just in Time after a recommendation from her college advisor and a few classmates at Mesa College. It began with her recognizing something was missing in her adult life; while she didn’t know what it was, she knew that she was ready for support. Aveena shared, “I felt lost in what I needed to do as an adult, I hoped that I can get somewhere by sending in the application.”

Her journey began with Career Horizons, where she connected with coach named Tamara who would become a consistent supporter even beyond the cohort. Over the course of the year, Aveena learned to start reframing her mindset about her she viewed herself and built confidence by learning skills in personal communication, professional interviews, and resume building. She also learned to appreciate the unique skills she brought to the table through the StrengthsFinder assessment.

Tamara shared, “It was an absolute joy to spend time with Aveena. She is a bright and talented young lady with a kind and positive spirit. When I first met her, she was a bit timid and reserved, a little shy and uncertain. Over the last two years, I have seen her grow tremendously as she continues to explore new places and embrace new experiences. I’ve seen her branch out and enjoy time with friends, move forward in her education, and create a better balance between working towards goals and making time for fun. It’s easy to see what a benefit it has been for her to have the folks at Just in Time in her corner.”

Aveena continued growing her connection with Tamara as they were paired together again in the College Bound 2019 cohort. Aveena received a laptop and printer, and went on an amazing back-to-school shopping spree with her coach. More recently, Aveena transferred to San Jose State University. She’s made a lot of terrific connections and continues to excel in her studies as she dives more into her major, Hospitality, Tourism, and Event Management. She even helped host an event for all students and faculty where she created a website, presented on the department’s curriculum, and facilitated her own breakout room activity!

On the horizon, Aveena has been selected for an academic study abroad trip in December 2021. She’s excited to travel to Tokyo to participate in a culinary program while also visiting friends and family who live there. Aveena is eager to receive support from our Study Abroad service to stay financially secure and remain connected with supportive people during her time abroad.

In addition to utilizing our services, Aveena has attended over 95 events with our community, including workshops, special events, and virtual participation! We have a great amount of pride in the growth she’s demonstrated and look forward to her continued connection and visits home to her Just in Time community.