The Urban League of Greater Atlanta stands proudly on its platform for economic empowerment, because we’ve seen firsthand, over more than 90 years, that it empowers communities and changes people’s lives. But, don’t take our word for it: Read their stories.
Empowering Success Stories
Ingrid Trammell beats the odds with help from the Urban League
Ingrid Trammell tells a story that reflects the plight of millions of Americans who were hard-hit by the economic recession – people who owned their own homes and thought they were secure in well-paying jobs. Like so many others, Ingrid lost her management job when her employer downsized; and she found herself at 60 years old needing to get back out in the job market. But Trammell’s story has a happy ending, thanks to the ULGA’s Workforce Development team.
“I had known about the Urban League from 20 years ago when I was a flight attendant for a time and took classes briefly. Fast forward 20 years later and I find myself unemployed and job hunting. Within the process of applying for the Workers Investment Act grant money for retraining, I found out that the League was a participant.
“It felt like a miracle. I was able to take all the free classes offered at the League – job readiness, resume-writing, and more. The teachers were dynamic, dedicated professionals who knew how to present the information in a way that struck a chord in me,” Trammell said.
She became proficient in Microsoft Office programs, receiving certifications in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Immediately after completing the courses, Trammell secured an interview. Using techniques she had learned at the League, Trammell aced the interview and was hired right away as a receptionist at an international financial consulting firm.
“I had been looking for a job for six months. Something about the training at the League gave me the confidence to convince those people that they needed to hire me. At first, the hiring manager said, ‘You are overqualified and not the right fit.’ But I knew how to respond to that. I was able to convince a whole panel of people that I was the best thing since sliced bread. I owe a lot of that to the Urban League — not to one person, but to all of them,” Trammell continued.
Trammell said the people at the League understood her circumstances, treated her like family, and cheered her on when she felt like giving up.
“After six months of searching, you’re pretty beat-down, and you don’t have the energy to hold your head up; not to mention the financial problems that come with that. The League felt like a haven. They believed in me and gave me everything I needed to be successful – advice, motivation, and help with my skills. And when I couldn’t fit the schedule for classes, they worked with me to come in at nights and on Saturdays to finish my certifications.
Already she’s been given opportunities to support top executives as an administrative assistant and to get engaged in event planning.
“Now, I never miss an opportunity to show off my skills at my new job,” Trammell said. “These skills will be invaluable when I’m up for a promotion. I am happy. I make a decent salary, and I am so grateful to the Urban League. They prepared me well, and everything they taught me works like a charm.”
A couple was about to lose their home once the husband lost his job and the couple fell six months behind in their mortgage payments. The mortgage had been a sub-prime loan with a 16 percent interest rate on a 36-month balloon payment. The Housing Director contacted the bank after reviewing the loan documents and finding inconsistencies that affected the quoted balance. Once the bank was told that the case would be referred to the US Department of Banking and Finance for investigation – a normal procedure for sub-prime, predatory loans – the bank immediately agreed to reduce the interest rate to 6 percent and to reduce the principal balance by $50,000. The bank also re-amortized the loan for a 30-year, fixed product – all of which allowed the couple to remain in the home with a reduced, affordable monthly payment.
ENTREPRENEURS GAIN THROUGH TECHNICAL COACHING
Shandron Pemberton, an entrepreneur, came to the League for help in understanding the contracting process. She worked with Master Coach Dinora Gonalez to navigate through the steps to increase her success in gaining contracts. Pemberton said the technical coaching helped her increase her business’s revenue from contracts by 36 percent. TEC’s Business Joint Venture program matches clients with prime contractors. Pemberton was matched with Shatekwa Floyd and has used Floyd as a subcontractor on several projects. Floyd reports that she has resigned from her full-time job to pursue her business full-time.
Project Ready: A College Access Program
ULGA STUDENTS WIN THE PRIZE
Three of our students won a competition for the best Prezi presentation for their business idea. The students had to design a business that would make a major contribution in their community. These students created a “Bando’s Clubhouse” that will provide a safe haven for young people to go during after-school hours and weekends. Bando’s projects would involve community beautification and offer resources to families.