My name is Vanessa and I am one of the recent trainees that joined Yes She Can in the summer of 2020. On that day I was feeling a mixture of emotions, nervous, eager, and maybe a little scared. On the morning of the big day, I was having my breakfast and my mom said “Vanessa, there is a job training program that’s for only young adult females that I think you may be interested in.” I said, “um, Mom, is it virtual or in-person?” Mom said “ It’s virtual and it is called Yes She Can and the lady who wants to talk to you is Lesli Cattan. So finish eating your breakfast Vanessa;! Lesli’s waiting on the computer on zoom.”
Eventually, I met Lesli and she seemed like a nice person and she gave me an overview of how Yes She Can was created by a lady named Marjorie and her daughter who decided on selling second-hand American Girl dolls at an affordable price.
While I was being informed by Lesli I had 2 feelings inside of me: will I be accepted by the other trainees and will they like me and want to be around me. Lesli finally asked me if I had any questions; and I said, “what’s your program like?”
Lesli explained that the Yes She Can program runs weekly and is broken further into semesters for fall, winter, spring, and summer. I then asked Lesli “What’s the skills class and why is there a yoga class on Tuesday at 1:30 pm?” There were so many questions about the Yes She Can schedule for the program racing through my head. Lesli had a huge smile and said “Calm down Vanessa and let’s take it slowly.” Lesli made me feel better and welcomed.
Upon being accepted into the program, I felt a sigh of relief that finally, I was about to join a program with females that have similar challenges. I still felt a little bit of hesitation about meeting the other trainees and coaches. Lesli encouraged me to watch some Yes She Can videos on YouTube and my first impression was positive. Seeing the warm smiles of everyone on the YouTube video made me happy and want to smile. When I heard a trainee named Maki speak, she was calm and made me feel like she could be my friend.
I decided that, yes, I would join the Yes She Can training program. When I started the training sessions I felt better because Lesli was there coaching me at the time, and meeting Maki felt seamless to me because we both like reading inspirational quotes from famous people in books.
The Yes She Can program has a social hour on Fridays where all the trainees meet and talk. I look forward to the social hour on Fridays. I like finding out how everyone is doing.
Lesli pulled me aside during one training session and said “Vanessa, did you know that the trainees take a yoga class on Tuesdays at 1:30 pm with Patricia who is related to Marjorie?” I said, “ I think I would love to meet Patricia.”
Once I got used to the Yes She Can training program, I felt a breath of clean, fresh air and am happy that I joined this all-girl training program. I also felt that the trainees and coaches were very kind to me and I like all the sessions which are the coaching sessions, the skills class, the social hour, and yoga. I enjoy the program and am learning a lot from it.
by Vanessa A., Yes She Can Trainee
Learn more about Vanessa. #MeAndMyAutism
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