A ýapp Gem Martin Mora Jr.

A ýapp Gem

Martin Mora Jr.

When meeting Martin Mora Jr. for the first time, you are instantly drawn to his easy charm and huge smile. Tall, clean-cut, and professionally dressed, Martin is the epitome of a great first impression. Spend some time with him, though, and his infectious laugh and positive attitude captivates you beyond first impression.

ýapp staff got a different first impression of Martin when he walked into the Fresno Service Center in 2010 looking for work. Nineteen at the time, Martin wore long hair, baggy clothes, and a hat turned to the side. He had no work experience, no vehicle, and unstable living conditions. What Martin lacked in first impression, he made up in determination.

Initially, not qualifying for the Department of Labor (DOL) farmworker program, Martin went out and found employment as a farmworker harvesting fruit during the heat of the summer until he could qualify. He returned to ýapp and enrolled in paid work experience and began training as an office assistant at the ýapp Fresno Service Center. With supportive services for work attire, Martin reported to training on the first day looking professional and confident. The transformation was remarkable. Through training, Martin learned many transferrable office skills, such as answering multi-line phones, assisting customers with completing forms, resumes, on-line applications, communicating eligibility requirements, and outreach. After finishing six months of training, Martin was able to get a place of his own, obtain a driver’s license, purchase a vehicle, and find full-time employment.

Today, Martin has been employed for the past two years at Quickeroo, a grocery store catering to Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) recipients. He started in a customer service position, but was quickly promoted to store manager at a new location in Selma. “I love being able to help other people in need, and that is what Quickeroo does. Families are able to receive food at a discounted price,” shares Martin. Visiting Martin’s store, you can see the love and care he puts into it. The shelves are impeccably stocked and organized, and the floors and counters pristine. Equal attention is given to his customers. He personally packs and delivers each grocery bag to his customers’ cars- all with that same easy charm and huge smile you experience when you first meet him.

If you ask Martin about his childhood or upbringing, he becomes noticeably uneasy. He nervously laughs and says he’d prefer to talk about where he is today and how ýapp has helped him. “ýapp has not just helped me, but members of my family,” states Martin. Since coming to ýapp, he has referred his father, uncle, and brother-in-law. His father and uncle, both farmworkers, enrolled in and completed ýapp truck driving training; and, his brother-in-law enrolled in and completed ýapp solar installation training. Each is now gainfully employed.

Thank you, Martin, for allowing ýapp to serve you and for sharing your story with us.


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