Martin Pelmore Takes Another Step Towards His Dream — from Dishwasher to Surgeon — Thanks to Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) Endowment Scholarship


This story is part of an ongoing series featuring the 2018 Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education Scholarship award winners

Martin Pelmore came to Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) of Clark County, Nevada through the organization’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) initiative. The WIOA program is designed to help youth who have dropped out of high school or are out of school because of issues related to homelessness, incarceration, foster care, learning disabilities or other life struggles that make getting and keeping a job challenging. However, the program also provides work skills for some young people who are in school or have already earned their diploma, but face obstacles getting and keeping a job. Martin was one of those youth.

Martin, with his mother

What stood in Martin’s way was not having Nevada identification. He was born in California and only had a photo copy of his birth certificate. YAP helped him navigate through the bureaucracy of contacting agencies in California to get an official birth certificate. YAP also walked him through the process of using that official documentation to get a Nevada state identification card.

Martin got a job washing dishes and cleaning up at Papa Murphy’s Pizza in Las Vegas. Working with YAP career coach Tiffney Lindamood, Martin applied for and received a Clark County Food Handler Training Safety card. He also learned basic skills, like how to establish habits of timeliness. The Food Safety card and job skills enabled Martin to move up from dishwashing and cleaning duties to making pizzas. The promotion gave him enough work hours to cover his rent and other household expenses.

With boosted confidence, Martin was able to revisit an idea that occurred to him when he was in the tenth grade and suffered a collar bone injury while playing football. For two years, he held fast to his dream of being an orthopedic surgeon. Here, again, his YAP team has been there for him.

“Martin focused on getting college applications done in a timely manner and his career coach helped him with college application fees and questions needed to be answered,” Tiffney wrote in her letter of recommendation supporting Martin’s application for the YAP Tom Jeffers Endowment Scholarship award.

Martin was accepted to Whittier College, where he will enroll for the Fall 2018 semester. Part of his scholarship and financial aid package will be a $1,000 YAP Endowment Award.

Martin said it’s another step towards realizing his dream. “With the help of YAP, I know I will be able to accomplish my goals.”

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