Trina Fleming ‘03 earned a BS in Management Information Systems through Vanguard’s professional studies program, which is designed for those who work full-time while pursuing an undergraduate degree.
“One of the things I loved about being part of Vanguard was the opportunity to freely and openly work through the integration of my faith and career aspirations. Those candid and impactful conversations remain an important part of who I am today as a professional, a team member, a community servant and as a leader,” Trina shares as she reflects on her time at Vanguard.
Hired initially as the Director of Operations, Trina is celebrating her eleventh year of working with Women Helping Women (WHW) as its new Chief Executive and Program Officer. She is one of the very few Black nonprofit CEOs in Orange County. Trina explains that what she loves about WHW is that since its beginning in 1993, it has remained true to its original goal—preparing people to secure great jobs. All the services at WHW, including employment readiness and soft skills training, professional apparel, transportation and more, are offered for free to women, men, and teens who need assistance in facing barriers to employment.
“We help job seekers successfully navigate the job market maze by empowering them with the confidence and professional acumen necessary to present themselves as viable candidates to employers.”
With the last year being one of the most challenging years for unemployment to date, Trina knew WHW would have to be very dexterous in practicing their mental agility to help their community members navigate the new job terrain.
“When the governor issued the first stay-at-home order, we called all 742 job seekers who were currently participating in our programs to find out how they were doing and to let them know we were here to help,” said Trina. “We knew that what they were facing was many unknowns. The spikes in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths meant jobs went away, and job seekers were left trying to homeschool while looking for employment. Sometimes they were making decisions about how much risk they were willing to take doing front-line work.”
Trina was full of faith despite the circumstances. She knew that God would be faithful and provide, as He did time and time again, for the WHW community.
“God remains consistently faithful. Even today, as we continue to reimagine the relevance and depth of our programs to meet each job seeker where they are, God continues to provide answers, partners, and funding.”
Trina shared some specific ways that the Vanguard community can come alongside her and the mission of WHW. “Following us on social media, sharing job openings with us, and supporting our mission financially will help close the employment gap for under-resourced job seekers and lift our community toward greater shared prosperity.”
“Having an ethical backbone in business is hard, but understanding how faith can play a direct role in business allows me to give back to my community in multiple ways through generosity and impacting lives.”