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Happy graduation day!

June 24, 2011

Graduate and class speaker Andre Allen poses with his wife June and his grandmother, who flew from New York to attend today's graduation ceremony!

This morning, 50+ graduates from our Occupational Skills Training (OST) programs gathered with friends and family at the Carole A. Hoefener Center in Uptown Charlotte.

We gathered to celebrate the new graduates’ successful completion of our Banking & Customer Service, Construction & Green Jobs or Hospitality & Tourism training programs, which are offered for free at our Career Development Center. (Click here for an online application–just choose the program you’d like from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.)

Guest speaker Linda Lockman-Brooks offered the graduates some advice, encouraging them to continue to work hard and to look for opportunities in the future when they will be able to offer the kind of support and guidance they received during their weeks of training at Goodwill.

After receiving their certificates, three graduates took to the stage to offer words of hope and inspiration to their fellow students:

“I was very skeptical when I started the first class,” said Curtis Baker, a new Hospitality & Tourism Training graduate. “But with help from my teacher and my classmates, I made my dream into reality. They taught me more about myself than I could have ever learned on my own.”

“I had decided I would not sit back and wait for opportunity to knock…I would come knocking. Goodwill has given me the chance to do just that,” said Ell’isha Newton, a new graduate of our Banking & Customer Service Training program.

Graduate and class speaker El'lisha Newton (second from left) celebrates with her friends and family.

“The most important thing I learned…is to invest in yourself through knowledge, preparation and accountability,” said Andre’ Allen, who graduated this morning from our Construction & Green Jobs Training program.

We are so pleased to offer our congratulations to each and every one of this morning’s graduates–they have joined a wonderful group of more than 2,000 people who have participated in our OST program since its inception, and have gone on to do some wonderful things. Well done!

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