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48 graduate from Goodwill job training programs

March 16, 2012

One of Goodwill's construction training graduates receives his certificate

This morning, we celebrated 48 students who have completed our Occupational Skills Training programs with a graduation ceremony at the Charlotte Museum of History.

Students who successfully completed our Banking & Customer Service, Construction, and Hospitality & Tourism training programs were inspired by guest speaker, Holly Alexander of Concorde Construction, who was named one of Charlotte’s “40 under 40” in 2011.

Alexander spoke to the students about tools for success, and reminded them that “you can’t always get what you want, but you’ll get what you need!”

Nikki Ellis receives applause and a standing ovation following her inspirational speech.

Graduate Nikki Ellis, who represented the Banking & Customer Service class, brought the entire room to tears with her inspirational story. Her successful corporate career was cut short when she was convicted of failing to report fraudulent activity at her company.

She lost her job, her children and her freedom. When she was released from a short stint in prison, Ellis was rejected by employers time and time again. “Goodwill has not just given me skills, it’s given me my dignity back,” she said. “I haven’t secured a position yet, but I know I’m already a success story.”

Goodwill Board of Directors member John Quinn, Goodwill VP of Business Ventures Robin Carson, and guest speaker Holly Alexander prepare for the ceremony.

Congratulations to all of Goodwill’s graduates – past and present. You are an inspiration to us all!

To check out photos from today’s graduation ceremony, click here.

To our generous supporters, thank you. By donating, shopping, or volunteering, you are helping us change lives! For more information about this program and other programs that we are able to offer to the community free of charge, visit our website at Thank you!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Debbie permalink
    March 16, 2012 5:32 pm

    You are always able to help a life. You may not know it at the time, you may never know, but what you do, no matter how small, matters. It goes on, and the next will do the same. I shop Goodwill, I donate to Goodwill.

    Don’t always expect to “see” what you have done. You will feel it in your heart. If you help someone, someone you love will be helped, we can’t expect to come back to “us”, but if someone else is helped, it has. We are all part of God’s earth.

    I had to send my son with autism to NC for a group home situation when Michigan had none. It broke my heart. But I volunteered, helped other families and kids with autism. When asked how I could do it, I always replied “when I do for someone, I say a prayer that someone is showing a kindness to my Jay”.

    I still believe that, I am here in NC now and volunteer to help others, not just Jay.
    It is repaid with a heart that can smile, even if your sad.

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