Meet Janice


Workforce Challenge 

When Janice Brinkley was 17, pregnant, and no longer attending high school, she decided the best way to set herself and her unborn child on a better path was to earn her GED.

Workforce Solution

In 2008, she became a member of the Westside Youth Opportunity (YO) Center for young people who aren't in school or working with that goal in mind. She took advantage of the GED classes offered at the center, and in 2010, she achieved what she set out to do -- becoming a high school graduate.

She also took advantage of the job readiness classes and employment placement assistance available through YO. Soon after earning her GED, Janice got a job with Baltimore City Public Schools, working in the cafeteria at Baltimore School for the Arts. The staff at YO also pointed her to affordable childcare resources so that she – as a single mom – did not have to worry about her child while she was at work.

Outcomes & Benefits

Since that time, Janice has decided to pursue a career she’s had a long-time interest in – criminal justice. Today, at 23, she is employed full-time in security for Wal-Mart while she works toward her associate’s degree in criminal justice at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC). Not only is she on track to graduate from BCCC next year, she has already passed preliminary testing to join the Baltimore City and Baltimore County Police Departments, and is moving on to the next phase of the hiring process for both departments, which is agility testing.

When asked to sum up the impact YO has had on her life, Janice said, “YO helped me become the person I am today.”

Related Stories

Meet Eric R.

Eric Richardson on his Welding Job Tired of working retail jobs for most of his life, Eric Richardson Jr. wanted a change. With many stores closing in 2020 because  of the COVID-19 pandemic, he wanted a secure future that allowed for the possibility of starting his own business. 

Meet J'Nay

During the COVID-19 pandemic, J’Nay Jones, like many others, was let go from her job. While scrolling Facebook for job leads, she came across the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) virtual recruitment show. MOED was recruiting for ...

Meet Daja

Daja Thomas

Daja Thomas received her high school diploma from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 2020.  Finishing high school was not an easy journey for Daja. Taking care of her child, working overnight at FedEx, and trying to go to school full time was too much.