I believe we all have a story to tell. Unheard voices are life’s great inspiring stories that will never be heard, everyone must be heard, so this is my story, I am speaking out.
The changes I’ve made in life, to better myself and to achieve the unreachable, to establish new dreams and to follow through creating a bright future. Step by step, piece by piece having expectations for success that never end. Knowing that my limits are beyond the skies and nothing can hold me back. The impact that Job Corps has made in my life to change who I was to who I’ve become all required a process; a process that began at Flint Genesee Job Corps.
My name is Daniel A. I am a 20 year old Latino American, born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. In order for you to understand the impact that Job Corps has made in my life, you must understand my past and who I was. At the age of 7. I lost my father on my first family vacation in Mexico, it was a robbery. The thief took the money and took my father’s life, leaving a broken family behind. Without a choice at an early age, I learned to provide for my two sisters and mother. At the age of 7, learning to become the man of the house was not an easy task. Education always came third in my life. First came family, then work, and then education. At the age of 13, I made some bad friends who influenced me to fight, skip school and tag. I began to go down a bad path. In a short time after fighting, skipping school and spray painting trains became my third priority.
At the age of 16, I made a choice; a choice to leave my education. After being kicked out of all the local schools, I decided to drop out. At the age of 18, I was in a good spot, I was comfortable. I didn’t do anything around the house. I didn’t help financially, even though I did have a job and money.
Life took its course and decided that it’s never ok to be comfortable. I lost my job because of a girl. Leaving work early and making bad decisions along the way. My family and I became financially unstable and to make matters difficult, my sister had a baby. Filing for bankruptcy, losing our home, our cars and all our money, living day by day, no food, no money, no job, having my family struggle and go through hunger.
I had to get a job. Soon after, I found myself working fifty hours a week, working very hard for very little pay. One morning before work, I slowly woke up, feeling very tired, I sat up. I saw my days get shorter and shorter, never having enough time to rest and always being tired. My life revolved around this financial world with no way out. My life felt meaningless and wasted. I had no future and no education. I decided that morning to go back to school. I knew that with the proper tools and education my life would change.
So I turned to Job Corps in hope for a life changing experience. As I embarked onto my journey to Job Corps, I realized, there was a small chance of change in my life. Hope was there, my dreams were there and the desire was there, but reality told me it wasn’t possible to change my life for the better.
The process was very difficult, having to wake up early everyday and make my bed, study and work hard, and struggle to get myself into the habit of school work once again. At first, it was frightening to see my scores on the exams. The thought of “maybe education just isn’t for me” truly was frustrating.
The change I saw in time. I began feeling self-motivated to do better every time, I studied harder and longer. I became dedicated to my work. Slowly, I saw my dreams come to life. Working my way up, passing four of my GED tests with excellent scores, believing in myself. Once more realizing that maybe I was wrong, maybe anything is possible if I set my mind to it. I no longer thought there was a slim chance of change; there was a change in me that I could see.
My attitude towards life began to change. My communication skills improved, being tested almost daily and learning to deal with conflict in a calm and professional manner. Many things have changed since I entered Job Corps. I am a different person now.
The man that I have become from this Job Corps experience is not the same man that I once was. I am a fighter now! I fight for my future looking for success and settling for nothing less. I believe in myself, knowing of my capabilities. Nothing can hold me back. I will overcome my old dreams and establish new ones that seem impossible to others. The excitement in my heart, I cannot contain, to know that success is a reality. I have always wanted to change who I was. I wanted to become a new man, but it was difficult to begin a process for change in a place with so much negativity. It’s hard to grasp a positive influence and look up at a positive role model, when you find yourself in a place full of corruption, despite all the negativity and pain. I made a choice, a choice for me, for my family, for my future, a choice that not only changed who I was, but also changed my entire life. This choice impacted my life and still is my choice to attend Flint Genesee Job Corps.