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February 4, 2011

Goodwill graduate Jamelia Sanders poses with friends and family after the ceremony.

It’s easy to get bogged down in life’s day-to-day details, especially with the extra worry that comes from a troubled economy, but there’s nothing like an uplifting Goodwill graduation for a healthy dose of perspective. The enthusiasm, optimism and excitement of our Occupational Skills Training program graduates is always contagious–and this morning’s ceremony was no exception.

Sixty-six new graduates received their certificates for our Banking & Customer Service, Hospitality & Tourism, and Construction & Green Job Training programs at the Carole A. Hoefener Center in Uptown, in front of a crowd made up of their friends and family, and their new family–our Goodwill team members.

Some graduates, like Construction & Green Job Training student Darin Hopper, spoke about how Goodwill helped get their lives back on track. “Before coming to Goodwill, I felt lost in a society that has no forgiveness for those who made a few bad decisions in the past,” Hopper said. “Goodwill has given me the opportunity to grow. My goal is to complete my bachelor’s so that one day I might own my own business.”

And some, like Jamelia Sanders, who represented her Hospitality & Tourism Training class by giving a speech, are ready, with the training and guidance they received at Goodwill, to begin a career–not just a job. “I was frustrated, lost, confused, and ready to give up,” said Sanders. “This class has given me hope. Everything I’ve learned will stay with me on a job and in my everyday life.”

“I plan to go back to school and get my master’s degree,” she added. “And maybe, just maybe, one day my PhD.”

What are your career goals for 2011?

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