Meet members of our Syracuse, New York, community who share their stories about job losses, job searches and job successes. They are neighbors, not numbers, living in a city ranked No. 1 for concentrated poverty among blacks and Hispanics.  

Q&A – Luis Perez

Luis Perez, an immigrant from Cuba with an accounting degree, found that English was a barrier between him and a good job in Syracuse. Read More

Q&A – Louis Rodriguez

Louis Rodriguez, a political refugee from Cuba, struggles to find a permanent job despite having lived in the United States for 36 years. Read More

Q&A – Talivo Salley

Talivo Salley, a father of four and employee at Dunkin’ Donuts, chats about the hardships of losing his job and supporting his family. Read More

Q&A – NaDonte Jones

NaDonte Jones, the only black master plumber in Syracuse, explains why his criminal record has never kept him from finding work. Read More

Q&A – Lanika Mabrey

Lanika Mabrey, who lost both of her parents to the HIV virus, now fights back against the virus through her job as a prevention health advocate. Read More

Q&A – John Collins

Newly hired John Collins looks back on his struggle trying to find a well-paying job to support himself, and his son, while pursuing his passion for writing. Read More

Q&A – Ishanna McDonnell

Newly hired Ishanna McDonnell searched for a living-wage job while maintaining her responsibilities as a mother of four. Read More

Q&A – Francine Whitman

Francine Whitman, a YWCA administrative assistant, has overcome homelessness, addiction and domestic violence to gain employment and reunite with her son Ethan. Read More

Q&A – Emmanuel Flowers

Emmanuel Flowers, a father of 10 and employed at the Brady Faith Center in Syracuse, shares the struggles he went through to earn a living wage. Read More

Q&A – Bennie Mae Rucker

Bennie Mae Rucker, an administrative assistant at the YWCA, reflects on her past homelessness and current struggle of getting by with a minimum-wage job. Read More