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Success Story Friday: Graduation Day!

September 14, 2012

Graduates from our construction training program pose with their certificates and their instructors.

Today, a brand new group of 53 Occupational Skills Training graduates accepted their certificates in a ceremony at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. Their hard work over the past several weeks to learn about Hospitality & Tourism, Banking & Customer Service, and Construction & Green Jobs is done.

Our graduates can proudly count themselves as Goodwill alumni, and they’re one step closer to their ultimate goals–securing a spot in the workforce and beginning family-sustaining careers that they love!

Willie Hill, graduate of our Banking and Customer Service program, receives his certificate.

Some graduates, like Willie Hill, who represented his Banking & Customer Service class with a graduation speech, came to Goodwill after losing a job. He had already worked for more than 20 years, and knew he needed to update his skills in order to find a job that fit for him. He found that help at Goodwill.

“Goodwill is like a career emergency room,” he said. “There is a whole lot of empowerment and employment healing going on.”

Keynote speaker Patrice Gaines, showing off her mug shot from when she was in prison. “This is my baby picture, when I thought I knew everything about life,” she said.

Our keynote speaker was acclaimed author and speaker Patrice Gaines, who inspired our graduates with her own story of triumphing over her own struggles and a stint in prison. She went on to succeed in a career as a journalist with the Washington Post, and has appeared as a guest on the Oprah Show and NBC Dateline.

“If you are focusing on the past, you are looking in the wrong direction,” she said. “Even when you don’t see the road, keep your eyes focused on where the road should be!”

Click here for more photos from today’s event.

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