Jennifer Williams ’03: Success and Significance
While rewarding, working in the nonprofit sector has only gotten harder during the recession. Jennifer Williams, class of 2003, admits that the temptation of a more lucrative job has crossed her mind a few times in the last year. As the employment specialist for Philabudance‘s Community Kitchen, their highly successful food services training and job placement program, Williams is in the business of giving second chances. Remember all the people who read your résumé and helped you prepare for interviews? That’s what Williams does, only her clients are often ex-offenders, many of whom have no previous work experience. Williams works with graduates of the program and second-chance friendly employers to break through stigmas surrounding late entry into the workforce and the ex-offender status, so that graduates can establish self-sufficiency with their new training. Williams has remained because, in the words of one of the program’s donors, “Success is one thing, significance another.” When she runs into employed graduates of the program and their faces light up, she knows that many of the profits of her trade are unquantifiable.
—by Zanna K. McKay ’13
November 28, 2012