From the time she was five or six years old, Chicago native D’Loren “Ren” Miller was always interested in computers. After looking for work in her adult life rather unsuccessfully, Ren participated in a career assessment to determine which industry or industries would best suit her skills, goals and aptitudes.
To best meet her goals, Able connected Ren with resources from a combination of programs offered in Chicago: the EPIC (Employment Opportunities, Personalized Services, Individualized Training, and Career Planning) program, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program, the adult education and GED preparation program, and the IT Career Lab program. This proved to be winning combination…but we will get to that later!
Ren worked with career coach Kelsey Briggs-Dineen to charter a career plan that would outline her short- and long-term goals. Ren never earned her high school diploma, and because Able offers GED preparation classes, she could easily work on that aspect of her career plan.
Rekindling her interest in technology was also an easy decision to make. Ren enrolled in Able’s IT Career Lab program to formalize her skills and earn professional credentials that would help her begin her career pathway. Ren attended both IT Career Lab and GED preparation classes earning her Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) and shortly thereafter, her GED.
With her new credentials, she entered into an internship where she got the opportunity to apply her skills in a full-functioning IT department. Shortly after her internship ended, Ren was hired as a Deployment Technician at Stroger Hospital.
When asked what advice she would give others, Ren said: “I would say continue through the program and make sure you finish. Do pretty much everything your career counselors tell you, they’re not going to steer you wrong. They will steer you in the right direction. Don’t quit!”