How did you get involved with GOSO and what programs have been the most helpful?
My nephew was in the program and he told me and my cousins about it. And eventually I came and checked it out one day — glad I did! I’ve done a lot with the vocational programs here at GOSO. Shaquala has been my Career Manager from the start, and I really appreciate the support she’s given me.
What have you done through the vocational programs here?
Since I’ve been in GOSO I’ve gotten my driver’s license, security license, S60, F60, flaggers, scaffolding and more. The programs gave me the chance to have an open mind — they’re especially helpful if you’re not sure what field you want to work in right away. I like having a variety of certifications because if you don’t want to work construction you can work security. So I took all of these vocational trainings to just be able to open up the opportunities available to me.
You’re a LIT Ambassador at GOSO, why did you get involved with the Leaders In Training Program?
Sometimes for people to learn certain things, they really need to hear it from a peer. I think it can be challenging for someone to hear certain things because they feel the person telling them is just talking AT them. All of the LIT Ambassadors are guys who are part of GOSO so I think some people may be able to relate more. We were all once in the same boat, so someone might be more willing to listen to me, because I get it. LIT opens up doors for guys to do more for themselves, to be able to better themselves. I now understand more of what GOSO staff members go through in working with each other and trying to help each other grow.
To you, what does it mean to be a leader?
To be a leader you need to be able to lead and a good leader must always know when to follow. Sometimes you are the leader, but you may not have all the information you need to lead the team. Maybe someone knows something that you don’t know, so you have to stop for a second to let that person share the information they know so now everybody’s on the same page.
Being a part of LIT has given me more confidence, because the staff at GOSO trusted and believed that I would be a great ambassador.
What impact has GOSO had on your life?
It made me actually want a future for myself. Honestly from the time when my mom passed away, I felt like I didn’t have a future — I was just wandering. I was here but I wasn’t here. So coming to GOSO made me learn how to deal with that pain and emotion and it made me give back to motivate myself and actually have motivation to do things. I’ve been working for four years since I got my security license. Back then, Shaquala could tell you, I would get a job and immediately say I didn’t want to do it. And now for four years I’ve been consistently working. I’ve been working on my own designs, designing jeans.
GOSO made me want to do something with myself. It made me want to be more.
I’ve grown into a better person and I’ve learned to control my anger and deal with certain situations differently. I’ve learned to think before I take action — I’m just more on point with my decision making.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I want to be running my own business. And I feel GOSO can help me with that because they are good with helping point us in the right direction to the path that we want to take.