L to R: Danielle DaRocha, Rebeca Irvin

Some people choose a career path early in life and continue on that path for their entire lives, while others go with the flow and let their journeys unfold as circumstances arise. Rebeca Irvin started out as the former—preparing for a career in the DEA by graduating from University of Louisville with a bachelor’s in justice administration—but shifted to the latter when an internship at a homeless shelter opened her eyes to the possibility of a future helping others. After graduation, she moved from Kentucky to California, and when her roommate in California decided to move to Massachusetts, Rebeca followed. It was there that Rebeca was introduced to Danielle DaRocha, who led her to her current role as a resource specialist with Work Opportunities Unlimited.

Danielle and Rebeca met when Rebeca first moved to Massachusetts and took a position at a residential home for young girls. As Danielle says, “Working at a residential home is pretty intense, so you tend to create strong bonds with your coworkers fairly quickly. That’s how Rebeca and I became friends.”

Assigned the task of training Rebeca to become a shift leader, Danielle would eventually become her direct supervisor before deciding to search for a new position which allowed for a better work/life balance. Danielle then trained Rebeca to take over her position at the residential home so she could move on to join Work Opportunities as a resource specialist.

Once in her position with WOU, Danielle realized it would be a perfect place for Rebeca. Rebeca not only had the right skills and knowledge for the position, she also had something you can’t learn in school—empathy. Danielle says, “One of the things I really admire about her is that she’s very empathetic and willing do what she needs to get done in order to help her clients.”

It took Danielle a little while to convince her to apply for a position at WOU, but eventually Rebeca did and was hired almost immediately. She has been with WOU for nearly two years now, and she’s still happy she made the move, saying, “I really enjoy working with people, and this job allows me to make a more positive impact, helping clients both find jobs and improve their life skills.”

The power of connectivity is strong, especially here at Work Opportunities Unlimited.