The PALS Program (Preparation for Adult Living Services) helps at-risk young people transition to a successful adulthood. Managed by the Central Plains Center for Services and funded by Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, PALS has helped the youth it serves make significant gains in education, employment status, housing, health and community engagement.
Unique is a 20-year-old former state ward who came to the PALS program for help. She had no family support, and her living situation was highly unstable. Because her only employment was part-time work at McDonald’s, Unique couldn’t afford a place of her own and would “couch surf” at different friends’ apartments. But even though she was homeless, Unique always showed up for work on time, and picked up extra shifts when she could.
Unique came to PALS because she knew that getting a full-time job with better pay was critical to her stability and independence. She worked closely with Kris Bosiljevac, her PALS specialist, to create a professional resume, scout out job fairs and submit applications. “She was diligent in her job search,” said Kris. “She set a goal to spend at least 20 hours a week on her emplopyment search.”
With the support of Kris, Unique landed a full-time job as a reservationist with Marriott. That means she has quality medical insurance. And she’s doing a great job! “She was recently given a raise at her first year review,” Kris said.
Unique also just celebrated one year of being in her own apartment. Kris helped her to apply for housing assistance through the FUP Housing Program. Now, Unique receives minimal assistance from the program because her employment covers her expenses.
Unique is a hard working young woman who needed help navigating the system. With PALS at her side, she found help getting a job that sustains her and a home to call her own. Unique is now an independent adult.
“We are very proud of Unique,” said Kris. “She is truly an inspiration as she is the type of person that does not feel she is owed anything, but rather works hard for everything she has achieved.”