A Brighter Future
Chris Jones had been just skating by through school up until the eighth grade. However, his academic performance plummeted after he started at John Glenn High School in September of 2011. By the end of his first two years of attendance, Chris had completed 1.5 credits out of the twelve he attempted and decided to drop out of school.
In 2015, after having had time to reflect on the direction that he wanted to take with his future, Chris decided it was time for him to change his life by completing his education and finding a job. Chris reached out to the Michigan Works! Wayne Service Center and enrolled with the WIOA Youth program for assistance in reaching his goals. He worked with a Career Development Facilitator (CDF) to explore educational options and decided to work towards his GED. Chris was then referred to instructor Ginda Gruse in-house at the WIOA Youth office to begin his studies.
Chris showed great motivation and effort. In fact, after 8 months of hard work, he was able to obtain his GED on March 17th, 2016. Chris credits Ginda with giving him the help that he needed to pass the exam. He is also thankful that the program was able to assist him by purchasing some GED prep books and covering the exam fee. As Chris was working hard on his studies, he was also meeting with his CDF regarding employment opportunities. He was placed into a Paid Work Experience (PWE) opportunity at Goodwill Industries just a month prior to completing his GED. The PWE utilized program funds to enable Chris to get a foot in the door with an employer. Chris did a great job and was hired on directly with Goodwill Industries in May, 2016. When his manager, James Paris, was asked about Chris' performance, he replied, "Chris was an asset to the store [during his PWE]. He is really focused, determined, and a positive person to be around. Chris is an honest person and we are glad to have him working in the store."
Chris is still employed at Goodwill and looks forward to continuing working there and eventually starting college. After obtaining his job, he was further assisted by the WIOA Youth program with funds to cover the cost of his driver permit and with helping to prepare for upcoming college entry exams. Chris feels that the WIOA Youth program has been a blessing for him. "I would not have done anything without it," he stated. "It helped me to get a job and a GED. I could tell that the staff at Michigan Works! really cared about how I did and really wanted me to succeed."