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Goodwill graduation: Teaching one another

November 18, 2011

Graduate Rashad Jones with instructor Thomas Elijah

“You don’t know what this program is doing for me, for us; We are becoming the men and women our families need us to be.”

These words, spoken by Goodwill construction graduate Rashad Jones, inspired a room of 76 graduates, their families, friends, partners, volunteers and instructors today at our graduation ceremony.

This morning, we gathered at the Carole Hoefener Center in Charlotte to celebrate the graduation of our program participants from the Occupational Skills Training (OST) programs. With certifications in Banking & Customer Service, Hospitality & Tourism, and Construction & Green Jobs, these graduates are now better prepared to face a tough job market. In fact, several graduates have already been offered jobs and are beginning a new career path.

Graduates from our banking program showing off their certificates

Jones also painted a picture of the hope that he had received at Goodwill. He said of his instructor, “Mr. Thomas had only known me for a couple of hours, and he was already cheering me on. I was so accustomed to negative responses in life, but the responses were positive at Goodwill.”

“Along the way I also gained friends, who are more like brothers and sisters. We watched over each other, helped one another and taught one another.”

Click here to check out more photos from our graduation ceremony and reception.

Representing the Banking & Customer Service class, speaker Angelica Hurtado said, “We found not only great teachers here; they are friends and people who really care and bring us all their knowledge, making us work very hard to improve our skills. They worked with us one by one. I leave this place full of love and gratitude, confident and stronger than ever.”

Congratulations to all of our graduates!

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