Muharrar Beyah is well suited for her role as the receptionist for the Supportive Assistance to Individuals and Families (SAIF) program at New Community. She not only has transferable skills from experience in customer service, but she knows how the SAIF program works because she was previously a client.
Beyah was participating in the SAIF program, which provides intensive case management to individuals and families who have received public assistance for 48 months or more. She was searching for employment, but nothing was working out, mainly because many of the positions required hours that she couldn’t work because she has to care for her school-aged son. Although at times she was frustrated, Beyah continued applying and interviewing because she wanted to work.
SAIF Intensive Case Manager Sonia Garcia provided Beyah with job leads and helped her with her resume.
“She never gave up,” Garcia said of Beyah. “She went to all those job fairs and she applied and never stopped applying.”
Beyah said the support Garcia provided to her and other SAIF participants is important and appreciated.
“Sometimes when you’re trying to get a job and trying to get yourself together, sometimes your spirits can be kind of broken down,” Beyah said. “But Ms. Garcia is always here to try to uplift her clients.”
When Garcia was out for medical reasons, SAIF Program Director Dr. Jackie Andrews was meeting with her clients, including Beyah, as the program resumed in-person meetings following COVID shutdowns. When she met with Beyah, Andrews found her to be personable and employable. Since SAIF was in need of a receptionist following a retirement, Andrews asked Beyah if she would be interested in volunteering in the role to try it out.
“I didn’t expect her to say yes because people don’t really like to volunteer,” Andrews said.
But Beyah agreed and volunteered for SAIF for a week.
“That’s when I really made up my mind to hire her because she showed that she really wanted a job and she was dedicated and loyal,” Andrews said. “Those are some good qualities that I look for in a staff person.”
Beyah officially applied for the position and became a full-time employee on Aug. 1, 2022. Her favorite part of her job is interacting with the clients. That sometimes includes providing a bit of inspiration as a former client.
“You don’t have to stay where you are. There’s always room for improvement and growth,” Beyah said. “I was there and now I’m here.”
Andrews called Beyah an asset to the SAIF program, saying she’s cooperative, willing to learn and open to constructive feedback.
“She could possibly move up to be a case manager because she knows both sides of the service,” Andrews said.
In her free time, Beyah writes poetry and attends slam poetry sessions where she shares her work. She also participates in humanitarian efforts with a group of girlfriends, donating food and other items to individuals in need.