Arianna Jaramillo: An E-Squared Success Story
At just 18 years old, Arianna Jaramillo has already faced a number of barriers that impacted her ability to succeed. At age 14, a traumatic personal event made her lose self-confidence. Then becoming a mother while she was still a teenager, as well as ending a difficult relationship with her son’s father who lives in Mexico, and navigating co-parenting with someone living in another country, all impacted her personal growth.
One of Arianna’s biggest barriers was always putting others before herself. Knowing she had to do better for her now almost two-year-old son, Arianna realized that in order to grow she had to take care of herself first.
Arianna first learned about Goodwill’s E2 (E-Squared) program from her sister who had previously enrolled. E2 is designed to provide youth age 16-24 who have dropped out of high school the chance to obtain their high school equivalency while earning a paycheck at the same time. In September 2020, Arianna enrolled in the program, eager and ready to move forward.
At first, Arianna felt lost and found herself settling on what was easy and convenient. But, soon after enrolling in E2, she began building relationships with people who supported her and helped her determine the steps she needed to take to reach her goals and she started to regain her confidence. Through the program she obtained valuable work experience through her first job in Goodwill’s warehouse.
On January 7, 2021, Arianna graduated from the E2 program with her high school equivalency, completing her first goal for the new year. “For the first time in a long time, I know I did it for me,” Arianna said. “I am more confident in myself. I love the person that I have become. I am so grateful to everyone who has had a hand in helping me in my journey and pushing me to get the life I deserve.”
Today, Arianna is enrolled in Goodwill’s Youth Job Skills program, which offers free job skills training in various credential programs for Tarrant County youth age 16-24. She is currently working on a child development credential which she hopes will allow her to work in the childcare field, attend Tarrant County College, and eventually become a child counselor.