Meet Jamila


Workforce Challenge 

Jamila left school at 19 years old because, she says, she “wasn’t focused.” 

Workforce Solution

Jamila Mahalale first came to the YO Academy in West Baltimore in January 2012.  Through the YO Academy’s workforce development activities, she was also able to develop her skills and talents, explore potential careers, and figure out what kind of work could be a good fit for her. She says, “I had no idea what kind of career I wanted to have, but I found myself to be a people person. I talk a lot, and customer service seemed to be my field.”

While taking classes at YO Academy, she started working at a shoe store. When Jamila earned her high school diploma in 2013, she said, “It was the best feeling in the world. I had finally won that battle with myself. There’s no better feeling.”

Outcomes & Benefits

Today, Jamila puts her customer service skills to work as a ticket agent for American Airlines at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. She found the job online, applied, and feels like she nailed the interview in part because of all the mock interviews she did as a student at YO Academy. She has been in her position with American Airlines for three years.

“YO Academy absolutely helped me get where I am,” she says. “I have no idea where I’d be today without it, honestly.”


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