From Uncertainty to Thriving

Charlene Oliveras and her family moved to Central Florida as a result of Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico. After the direct hit, the situation on the island was dire, and Charlene’s husband lost his job. The future was uncertain, and the family made the difficult decision to leave a lifetime in Puerto Rico to look for new opportunities in Central Florida.

Their new beginning was challenging, living off their savings and struggling to secure employment for over a year. Charlene found hope when she received a call from Elsie Bayle, who invited her to attend an orientation for Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria hosted by CareerSource Central Florida (CSCF). A job posting caught her attention, and Franklin Cabral, Project Restore staff, assisted her with her resume and guided her on the application process.

A week later, Charlene received a call for an interview, and a few days later, she landed a Human Resources job. Her role started as a temporary position, but her supervisor was impressed with her performance that she offered her a full-time role. Charlene is now Director of Human Resources with Hispanic Family Counseling. Since then Charlene has been involved with the community joining the Kissimmee Chamber of Commerce helping others.

Charlene is grateful for the support and guidance she received from CSCF and the Project Restore staff, including Franklin Cabral, Elsie Bayle, Arlene Maza, and Ana Sanchez, who went above and beyond to help her start a new chapter of her life in Central Florida.

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