Gilda Lopez has always been an achiever. She started first grade in Guatemala when she was just four years old and graduated high school at sixteen. Though she wanted to work to help support her family, she had to get permission from her parents to have a job, so she began teaching social studies and Spanish grammar at her own former high school!
Gilda began working at a bank, which gave her a scholarship so she could enroll in college. She worked six days a week at the bank and went to school at night. It took seven years to get her degree, but within two years she was promoted to management.
During this time, Gilda volunteered at a radio station doing a motivational program. Some of her co-workers at the bank heard the program and realized it was her. When they informed the bank manager, Gilda was promoted to trainer. She taught seminars on how to recognize money laundering, and also led a financial planning workshop.
When Gilda came to America permanently in August of 2012, the only work she could find was cleaning. After the responsibilities she had once had, cleaning toilets felt like a big step down. She almost went back to Guatemala, but did not want to leave her family.
Gilda got a job at Burger King in the kitchen. People sometimes mocked her for speaking Spanish, but she did not let that discourage her. She was taking ESL at PCC and needed practice, so she asked if she could work the drive-through window for three extra hours each night.
While working at Burger King, Gilda heard about Job Connection, and began working with Joy Whitmore in Cedar Hills. Joy learned that Walgreen’s needed good candidates for supervisors, and thought immediately of Gilda. Though Gilda was initially worried about her level of English, she did very well on the in-store assessment, interviewed with both the assistant manager and manager, and received a conditional offer on the spot!
The assistant manager who was involved in Gilda’s hire has since been transferred to another Walgreen’s. She asked for Gilda to be transferred to her new store because she needed a good supervisor. Management at her current store will not let her go!
“I believe God sends angels to help us,” says Gilda. “I found them at Job Connection!”