Success Story Friday: Nakia
Today, most people know Nakia as an established construction worker and graduate of Goodwill’s Construction & Green Jobs Training program.
But it hasn’t always been that way. Nakia’s current dedication overshadows a past of “selling drugs and toting guns.” The 36-year-old grew up in a reform school and did prison time—making his past and lack of skills a major barrier to employment.
“I almost gave up,” he says. Then, his wife came home with a pamphlet from Goodwill, and it changed his life.
After completing Goodwill’s program, Nakia put his new skills to work on the job search. Eventually, Nakia’s persistence paid off when a position opened up at Wayne Brothers in Charlotte. “He presented himself professionally, sincerely and honestly,” says Kathy Kent, the company’s recruiting manager.
His first work assignment: building a condo and retail complex near South Park Mall. Nakia describes that first job as his “first accomplishment” in life—something he helped create that will always make him proud.
Two years have passed since Nakia joined Wayne Brothers, and his dedication and hard work has paid off. He’s worked his way up from laborer to a carpenter helper, and most recently, he’s become a carpenter himself.
Nakia says having a wife and family to support was his biggest motivating factor. “I wasn’t the only one that depended on me,” he says. “The only way you will see success is if you refuse failure. Thanks to Goodwill, it feels great to do something in the world now.”
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