"Most of us don’t think much past the next 15-30 days. We don’t plan for losing our jobs. I was a graphic designer for 20 years. One day, the owner of the company I worked for asked me to help unload a truck. I was helping a co-worker when I was injured, it wasn’t part of my job. The company owner didn’t have insurance and when I told him about my injury, he had a very weird way of showing me how much he appreciated my work—he fired me. So I ended up without a job, injured, and with no idea what I was going to do with my life."
"Did you know you can improve the quality of your life? Anthony Frias suffered an injury while employed as a hotel worker in Los Angeles, CA and was unable to return to work. After meeting with our counselor, he enrolled in online accounting course and studied at home. Today, Anthony works as a bookkeeper. He works less hours and is making more money. Now, he can do what he loves.. spend quality time with his four young boys."
"Most of us don’t think much past the next 15-30 days. We don’t plan for losing our jobs. The company owner didn’t have insurance and when I told him about my injury, he had a very weird way of showing me how much he appreciated my work—he fired me. So I ended up without a job, injured, and with no idea what I was going to do with my life."
"Anthony Frias suffered an injury while employed as a hotel worker in Los Angeles, CA and was unable to return to work."
"Did you know you could use a voucher even if you are retired? Yolanda was a hotel housekeeper over 21 years. She injured her back at work while picking up a mattress. "
"To Denise and Staff of Ortega Counseling Center There are no words to say thank you for all the help and guidance I have received from Ortega Counseling Center since my injury case was settled. It was a dark and stressful time for me. "
"While I was recovering from my worker’s compensation injury, I experienced some pretty depressing times. The damage from my work injury was permanent and I was restricted from jobs that required typing; the only thing I knew. "
"While many people are trying to figure out how to live life to the fullest, injured workers often have the benefit of eventually seeing their retraining as a “reset” in life so they can really appreciate what life has to offer. It’s as if after a period of darkness, the lights have been turned on to new possibilities. "
While many people are trying to figure out how to live life to the fullest, injured workers often have the benefit of eventually seeing their retraining as a “reset” in life so they can really appreciate what life has to offer. It’s as if after a period of darkness, the lights have been turned on to new possibilities.
When Viktoria came to OCC, she had suffered a traumatic head injury. While working as a jewelry specialist at a department store, a large piece of machinery fell on her, injuring her head, back, and shoulder. Viktoria often dealt with confusion, blurry vision, and difficulty concentrating. She was not sure that any type of retraining would be possible for her.
Together, Viktoria and her OCC counselor considered many different options. Together they learned about the best ways for her to improve her attention and concentration. Viktoria was able to plan for success by removing distractions, focusing on one task at a time, and taking breaks when she got tired. Eventually, Viktoria chose to work on a real estate program, which had online videos she could watch and re-watch to be sure retained the information.
“My OCC counselor cared and was always helpful,” Viktoria said. “I had not been in school for over 20 years and he was always there to help me.”
We are very proud to say that Viktoria passed her real estate course on the first try and she is now a certified realtor with a career path that can take her far. What could have become a very dark time was turned around and light was shone on all that was possible for Viktoria. She has renewed hope and joy in her life and we are so grateful to have been a part of that!
To Denise and Staff of
Ortega Counseling Center
There are no words to say thank you for all the help and guidance I have received from Ortega Counseling Center since my injury case was settled.
It was a dark and stressful time for me. I was unable to return to my job and looking for a new job with no success. Trying to figure out how would I be able to afford College or Trade School full or part time to start a new career knowing that I will still have to pay off bills and debt that collected and to continue therapy for my injuries. Then about 6 months after I received help the first time from Ortega Counseling Centers I received an email from Denise stating that I qualify for a $5000 dollar supplemental program for injured workers. I could not believe it! I was able to pay off my old bills and have money left over for Disneyland for my family.
When I was younger I worked as an extra part time for TV, Commercials and Film. I was fortunate to find work again as an extra. I became eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild now called SAG-AFTRA from past work and now I am working again UNION. I’ve been lucky to work small featured roles and one day I hope to become a Principle Actor. I would have never thought that I would be able to pursue my childhood dream.
I was recently blessed to play a Viking Dad with my Viking Family on the show The Muppets. Not only did I play a Viking Dad, but the scene I was playing was Lazer Tag with my Acting Family against Kermit and Miss Piggy. Of course we lost, but it was a blast. I’m a 40 year old man playing Lazer Tag with The Muppets! I would of never thought that that would of happened to me. It’s a childhood dream to meet them. My daughter can’t wait to see me on television playing with them. I have been fortunate to have steady work in the Entertainment Industry and have good people next to me. I will soon be able to set up my IMDB account.
This is a new start for me and Ortega Counseling Center has been a blessing in my life. They continue to guide me in the right direction. I may continue to have pain from my injuries, but I have been set free from my old life. It’s exciting, scary, yet fresh to pursue a new career.
I am now moving forward in a new and positive direction towards HEALING PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY and most of all SPIRITUALLY.
With much love and of course thank you,
Yolanda was a hotel housekeeper over 21 years. She injured her back at work while picking up a mattress. She was on disability and receiving medical treatment to relieve her pain. After her condition became stable, she was unable to do her job anymore. She retired from work and is now at home taking care of her grandchildren. She was entitled to a $4,000 SJDB voucher because she didn’t return to her job at the hotel. She met with the counselor at OCC and chose to enroll in Computer Application Course because she has never used a computer in her life and wanted to learn. She enrolled in At-Home training and received a computer as a tool she needed for her training. The teacher met with her once a week for two hours. After three months, she finished training and received a certificate of completion. She is very proud. Today, she is able to use the internet and use email to communicate with friends and family in Mexico, she can access her bank accounts, get driving directions and read online ! As a grandmother she will be able to keep up with technology and use it with her grandchildren. Instead of driving them apart, technology is bringing her closer to her grandchildren and her community.
While I was recovering from my worker’s compensation injury, I experienced some pretty depressing times. The damage from my work injury was permanent and I was restricted from jobs that required typing; the only thing I knew. Even though I had opportunities to interview for other jobs that did not require typing, all of these positions paid much less than what my family needed to continue our normal daily lives.
I was a single mother raising three children all under the age of 10. I had not even earned my high school diploma. My boss at the time, Edward Ortega, had one very simple philosophy: Don’t be stupid. Educate yourself. With fewer job prospects after my injury, I made the decision to continue my education.
Going back to school as an adult poses its own set of challenges. Going back to school when you’re a single mother can be exponentially more difficult. I attended school at night. My schedule was beyond tight, taking 21 units at once to finish quickly. My kids missed me and I missed them. There were times when I was furious about the situation, but I would remember Mr. Ortega and somehow the future looked brighter.
I went full speed ahead to earn my bachelor degree in only a year and a half. I went on from there to earn a master’s degree in Educational Psychology. Finally, I secured not just my own future but the future of my entire family.
Little did I know, that earning my degrees would increase the likelihood of my children having academic success themselves! Today, my oldest child is in his fourth year at Humboldt University and majoring in Psychology himself. My middle child is studying for his Physical Fitness Trainer certification. Just recently, my daughter, and youngest child set off for Mt. St. Mary’s University and is majoring in Nursing. They are brilliant young people and their potential is literally limitless. Each of my children has decided to pursue a career that will help to improve the quality of people’s lives, and I can attest that there are few more noble and rewarding professions.
I am so proud of the hard work and decisions that have brought them to this point in their lives, but I can’t help but think, this all happened because of my injury. My children witnessed their mother achieving her educational goals and surpassing the expectations of many as I was the first to graduate from college in my entire family. All the naysayers were wrong–an injured worker can rehabilitate and improve their life, and their family too!