Jessica Aponte-Ramos is a diffrent person on the inside and outside.

“When I first started this job i was going through some stuff. I moved in as a resident and then I became an employee,” Aponte-Ramos said.

Aponte-Ramos became an employee six months after she entered the Bakersfield Homeless Center.

“I’ve been with them for five years and all the trades and all the experiences that they taught me are actually helping me push forward in life,” Aponte-Ramos said.

She plans to keep pushing forward.

“One of my biggest goal is to try to get a government job,” Aponte-Ramos said.

The only problem, ten years ago she was charged with a felony, but that was then and this is now.

“Hopefully they will give me a chance,” Aponte-Ramos said.

Aponte-Ramos had the charge expunged from her record.

She has changed her life aroun and people are starting to notice.

“This woman has worked so hard and so diligently to pull herself and her family into a place where they’re both successful and thriving,” said Carrie Blind, hairstylist.

Aponte-Ramos was suprised with a trip to Panache, a Mark Lamas salon. .

“I never had this. I was always dreaming about it. I guess now I get to have it,” Aponte-Ramos said.

She was treated to new hair and new nails at no cost to her.

We continued to chat about her journey and why she decided to turn her life around.

“When I was going through homelessness, I didn’t want my kids to be in the streets with me,” Aponte-Ramos said.

She said failed over and over again which is why she can now succeed.

“I am a completely different person and a I think it had to do with the fact that I had to hit rock bottom first,” Aponte-Ramos said.

Aponte-Ramos has her eyes on a job with the City of Bakersfield, the only problem, her former felony expunged or not.

“There’s mistakes that were made in the past. like all of us have made. She’s had her struggles just like everybody else has. It really frustrates me and it breaks my heart to watch her work so hard to go and test for the city and the county, go to job reviews and knock their socks off, and then when it comes time to do a background she’s affected by something that happened 10 years ago,” said Andrew Miles, Labor Development Manager, Bakersfield Homeless Center.

She is staying optimistic.

“You’re always going to have waves come at you from every angle. Your job is to just learn how to maneuver your boat and learn how to steer it the right way,” Aponte-Ramos said.

She believes she can and I certainly think one day she will.

“From where I first started, to here, I thank you guys. Thank you,” Aponte-Ramos said.