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Ready to work: Sherly Oglivie

on October 29, 2010

Sherly Oglivie

Sherly Oglivie’s dream is to work with blood. Extracting samples of contagious blood doesn’t scare her. The thought of it makes her smile.

“I’m good at drawing blood,” Oglivie said in her Caribbean accent. “I really like to deal with people and help them—to talk to them and make them feel better. Just a smile to help them—that’s what I really like to do.”

Before arriving in the United States in 2008, Oglivie worked for six years as a phlebotomist preparing slides and tissue samples in various hospitals and clinics throughout Panama City, Panama.

The mother of two young daughters, Oglivie possesses a California driver’s license and green card. For home-away-from-home comfort she calls upon the love of her family scattered across northern California: her mother in Menlo Park, aunt in San Leandro and grandmother in Berkeley.

Tears swell in Oglivie’s eyes when asked what it would mean to her daughters that she found a job.

“Wow,” Oglivie sighs after exhaling a deep breath. “My youngest daughter prays with me every day that I find a job—to get a house.”

To encourage her daughters to appreciate their life in Richmond, Oglivie takes them to the public library and reads them stories about U.S. history. They learn about the 50 states, how many people live in each state and what is each state’s flower.

She also understands the importance of marketability and continued training.  At Saffron Strand, Inc., in Point Richmond, Oglivie is training in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Oglivie says life in Richmond is not hard but not easy either. Right now she wants a job so she can pay tuition for phlebotomy training at Kaiser Permanente’s School of Allied Health Sciences.

Keeping a positive attitude and staying focused on employment, Oglivie will soon be administering blood tests to help physicians diagnose and treat ailments.

Oglivie’s determination and skill set doesn’t bode well for Dracula. If he doesn’t watch out he’ll have to find a day job.

Oglivie commits herself to life-long learning and is determined to be an inspiration to her young daughters.

Her words:

“I am a quick learner and put all my effort into what I do to complete the job.”

“I am an example to my two daughters. Right now their father is not able to help so I need to keep trying harder to find a job and a good school for my daughters.”

“When I look for jobs on the internet—there are lots of jobs. But there are so many without jobs, too. Now it’s not what you know but who you know. If someone knows you and refers you there is better opportunity.”

“The hardest part of being without a job is not having a place for my two daughters. I do everything for them—it’s hard not being able to have a place for them.”

“Right now I’m on welfare. It helps me a lot but it’s not the same as having your own job, money and house.”

“I’m renting a room from my grandmother’s friend.”

  • Bilingual in Spanish and English
  • Certified Lab Technician
  • Certified Hotel Receptionist
  • Creating Payroll Accounts
  • General Administration and Clerical Support


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