A Proteus Gem Zechariah Penn

A Proteus Gem

Zechariah Penn


It was obvious to staff that Zechariah Penn did not want to be at Proteus when he walked into the Dinuba Service Center with his mom in July, 2012.  He was quiet, serious, and did not smile. It was apparent that 19-year-old Zechariah would much rather be doing something else, but his mom had other ideas.  


Zechariah was an out-of-school youth at the time, having recently graduated from Ronald Reagan Academy in Dinuba.  He had no work history and no idea how to look for a job. But times were difficult and Zechariah’s mom needed his help.  After 15 years of employment, Zechariah’s mom, who raised him and his younger sister on her own, was laid off. Unemployment benefits were their sole source of income, and it wasn’t enough to make ends meet.  Proteus was their only option.


Zechariah was immediately enrolled into Proteus’s youth program.  The goal for Zechariah was to get him interview ready to prepare for job search and ultimately employment.   This responsibility fell directly on his case manager who gladly took Zechariah under her wing. The first order of business was to work with Zechariah on his soft skills.  He learned the importance of properly introducing himself to prospective employers and participated in mock interviews in preparation for job search. He received assistance with resume preparation, job search techniques, and how to complete a job application.  He was also versed on the importance of first impressions and the need to “dress for success.” Proteus provided Zechariah with supportive services that enabled him to purchase proper interview attire.


Zechariah was a quick learner and his case manager started to notice a change in him.  He seemed excited about the prospect of getting a job and was showing interest in working as a stock clerk.  His case manager contacted Kmart and got Zechariah an interview. It was up to Zechariah now to put all that he learned into practice.  His case manager immediately received a call from the human resources manager at Kmart. She was very impressed with Zechariah and shared that she wished everyone came to the interview as prepared as Zechariah.  He immediately started his paid work experience training at Kmart. Zechariah was very proud to hold this first job and took it very seriously, never coming in late or missing a day of work. After completing his training, he now had the confidence and experience and easily found employment at Wal-Mart in Dinuba.  Zechariah has worked full-time at Wal-Mart since February, 2013 and is enjoying his job and being able to provide for his family.


Talking to Zechariah today, a completely different young man appears.  He is open, laughs easily, and a smile is never far from his face. His mom is especially thrilled by the transformation and is excited to see where Zechariah’s motivation and experience will take him.


Proteus is excited to highlight this successful youth and look forward to following his story.  Thank you, Zechariah, for choosing Proteus to assist you in your job search.

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