Honoree: Knights of Malta, Orange County Chapter
Team Members: Tom Psomas, Ric Brutocao, Bud Grandsaert, John Miller, Susan Miller, John Sawyer, Ed Godlewski
Honored by: Taller San Jose Hope Builders
Cause Area: Workforce Development & Financial Literacy
Members of the Orange County Chapter of the Order of Malta volunteer to help Taller San Jose Hope Builders’ young people, who are basic skills deficient, master the math skills needed to succeed in the construction industry. Malta volunteers conduct weekly small group or one-on-one math tutoring sessions for trainees to help them complete challenging assignments, prepare for tests and ensure comprehension of concepts covered in class.
With the help of Malta volunteers, in the last year, 77% of Hope Builders’ youth that completed training improved their basic skills by at least one grade-level and 73% found employment within 90 days of training completion.
Last year, the Order of Malta equipped young people, like Cesar, with the tools needed to transform their lives. Cesar came to Hope Builders searching for a better opportunity for his family. Shortly before finishing high school, he learned he was going to be a dad and put his dream of going to college on hold. He spent the next few years working multiple minimum-wage jobs and struggling to make ends meet. After learning about Hope Builders at church, he knew this was his chance to improve his family’s future.
At 21 he enrolled in Hope Builders’ construction training program and excelled in the structured environment. Cesar showed up every day, on time and with a good attitude for the entire 16-week training program. Despite completing his high school diploma, at program in-take, Cesar’s math skills were at a 5th grade level on the TABE test. With the help of one-on-one tutoring with the Order of Malta volunteers, Cesar improved his math skills by three grade levels in four short months!
In October, Cesar enrolled in an apprenticeship program to further his education. He now works as an apprentice at a local construction company earning $17.20 per hour.