How did you connect with GOSO?
My cousin inspired me. He came to GOSO a few years ago, they helped him get a job, and everything worked out really well for him. At the time, I was really scrambling, wasn’t working, and I had just moved back to the city. He said I should try GOSO, and I’m happy I did.
What does GOSO mean to you?
I like GOSO because we’re welcome to come and just spend our time here, a couple of hours every day. That’s a really big deal, even though a lot of people might not realize it. It sounds cliche but, you don’t know what anyone who comes in here is going through or what their life is like. A lot of us are running literally from bullets or other dangerous situations. GOSO is our safe space, where we can go and feel comfortable. That is so important. On top of that, you can have so many great conversations with other people here; you’ll get a better understanding of how the world works. Everyone can use a different perspective sometimes.
You’re celebrating one year working at Littleneck Outpost. Congratulations! How has GOSO helped out with your job?
When I started GOSO and applied to the GOSOWorks program, Geoffrey Golia, the head of GOSOWorks at the time, saw a lot of potential in me, so he linked me to the team at Littleneck. GOSO giving me this opportunity has allowed me to experience success. I feel like I’ve worked really hard and my bosses and coworkers have noticed this. I just do the job really well.
What is your favorite part of your job at Littleneck Outpost?
I have a lot of responsibility! If the drain overflows, I handle it. If there’s something that needs to be fixed using the ladder, I’m that guy. I can be back in the kitchen washing dishes, but can also be anywhere else in the restaurant and helping out with anything that needs attention. But what I really love about my job and Littleneck is the people. The guys who founded and own the place are here taking care of their small business. Before this, I worked at a big chain retail store, so now I have this whole contrast of what it’s like working for a big corporation versus a local business. The owners of Littleneck have to do a lot to keep the business going and I respect that. I like when business owners know every part of the business, not just the ownership side.
What are your career goals?
I create music as a hobby, and it’s always been a passion of mine. I thought I would maintain a solid job so I could fund my music career. Right now, I’m still just figuring things out, but I do feel like the sky is the limit! I plan to continue to save and see what’s next.
What advice can you share with someone just starting here at GOSO?
The other day, there was actually a young guy outside of GOSO, and he asked me if it was “worth going in?” I was really surprised. He was hesitant just to go inside. I told him, “you’re going to go in do your orientation and do the 2-week curriculum. There’s going to be someone at GOSO who is going to see your potential, link you up with a good job and you just take it from there.” I told him a little bit about how I’ve benefited from GOSO. Advice I would give to someone would be to just take the program and process seriously. If you’re not serious, the second you run into an obstacle, you’re going to go back on the merry-go-round — just going in circles with your life.