Taller San Jose - Students & Alumni

Students & Alumni

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Success Stories

"If I hadn’t attended Taller San Jose, I honestly don’t know where me and my two children would be right now. I grew up with much hardship, but today I am full of hope and have so many opportunities ahead of me."

Juana , Taller San Jose Graduate

Let me tell you about my first job since graduating Taller San Jose -- First I am very excited, I'm doing all that I learned at TSJ. I check in patients, take copies of insurance cards, referrals, make new charts, pull charts, file charts, collect co-payments, and more.  My office manager and the owner are very impressed with my work and how fast I've learned, the doctor said that within 3 months they will train me to answer phones and schedule patients and do some of the back office.

You know, if I hadn’t attended Taller San Jose, I honestly don’t know where me and my two children would be right now. I’m a single mom and I grew up with much hardship. I dropped out of high school, and my parents struggled to make ends meet.

I never want my son to live the way I did --- so I came to Taller San Jose in hopes of getting the skills needed to start a real career…that was the best decision I ever made. Today, I earn $11.50 per hour, receive full benefits - and even have a 401(k) plan. I’m so happy where I am at today and can’t wait to see what happens next.

"I am 25 years old, married and have a baby boy. I am the happiest guy I have ever been….but it wasn’t always this way. I’ve come a long way and I have Taller San Jose to thank. "

Christian, Taller San Jose Graduate

I am 25 years old, married, and have a baby boy. I am the happiest guy I have ever been….but it wasn’t always this way.

I grew up in Santa Ana with three brothers. I started hanging out with the wrong crowd, looking to be a part of something but not knowing what – this is common where I am from. I sure became a part of something….but it was no good for me: I joined a gang and became addicted to drugs. I forgot who I was and got lost, stuck in a cycle of going in and out of jail.

My worst moment came when I was arrested in my house in front of my family. That’s when I decided to get my life together. I spent one year in a rehabilitation center to get clean and that’s when I was ready for Taller San Jose.

I joined the program and things started looking up – I finally became a part of something good and real. I graduated and today work full time at $14.95 per hour.

I can’t express how grateful I am to Taller San Jose for helping me help myself and playing a valuable role in my recovery.

“I believe in fresh starts and second chances, so hiring Taller San Jose graduates has been very rewarding. They are willing and eager to learn…plus they make great employees.”

Barry Cottle, President, C&C Development

C&C Development has a very special, win-win relationship with Taller San Jose – we have hired several graduates from the program since 2007 and it’s been a very rewarding experience. They are willing and eager to learn more about the construction trade and overall make great employees.

When I first came across Taller San Jose in 2007, I learned we both believe in fresh starts. Our company acquires and rehabilitates run-down apartment complexes. With each complex we rebuild, we add community features like playgrounds, learning centers, and computer labs.

Taller San Jose give young people a fresh start with job training. We give local families a fresh start with high quality affordable housing. It’s the perfect match having their graduates out here rebuilding these homes. We are working together to serve our local community.


"What goes around comes around. When we support young people they give back by becoming good citizens of our community. We have partnered with Taller San Jose since 2004 and I encourage others to get involved."

Mike Barth, President, Jezowski & Markel

Jezowski & Markel has partnered with Taller San Jose since 2004. It’s very easy to support their mission – when you visit their facility the students come up to you and introduce themselves. They talk about their lives and share their aspirations. No matter their history, you can sense good character.

I truly believe in “what goes around comes around.” When we support these young people, they give back by becoming good citizens and coming back to work for our local companies. I applaud the graduates for overcoming tough backgrounds and choosing to lead better lives for themselves and their families.

We have served on Taller San Jose’s Honorary Board, hired graduates, and supported their annual gala Light up a Life. I encourage others to get involved and do the same. Believe me, it’s easy to get hooked!