Meet Nikki: Workforce Wednesday

Nikki Blenaru began her REAL LIFE journey in our program at Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail, where she graduated and upon release came to reside in our recovery house. From day one, she had an incredible motivation and did not lose sight of her goals one time while in the program.

Working on overcoming many hardships in her past, she worked the program to its fullest and completed every single thing that was asked of her. She wasted no time in accomplishing the tasks and her goals, as not to let anymore of her life slip away.

And not surprisingly, Nikki worked at Anord Mardix for just a few months before advancing. She was moved to her current position in final assembly of data boxes “because they said I needed something more challenging,” she says. “That made me feel great knowing my efforts were being noticed.”

What’s more is what having a job has meant in her life. “It means having a life I can be comfortable with, being able to support myself and be happy.”

Nikki found her job with the assistance of REAL LIFE’s Quick Start to Employment Program, which aims to support their clients to obtain and keep employment that provides a way to financial independence for the participant and their family.

Her job “has helped me gain my own house, a vehicle, my license.” Nikki paid off court fines and can purchase things she not only needs but wants. “It has given me a stronger confidence and dependence on myself.”

The financial freedom has allowed her to do things — “Just being able to have friends and family over for dinner has made my relationships stronger!” As a graduate who has since moved out into her own house, Nikki continues to keep her recovery at the forefront, while working and caring for her nephew.

She wants to work her way up in the company and offers encouragement to others looking for employment. “The opportunities are definitely out there!”