Olajorwan Builds His Future
Many students seek out Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota (GESMN) to help build a plan for their future. They are determined, focused and motivated to overcome barriers to their success.
Olajorwan was living at a housing facility for formerly homeless youth when he toured the YouthBuild training facility. Olajorwan showed a lot of excitement and interest but was unable to join the program at that time.
GESMN’s Youthbuild team stayed in touch with Olajorwan, reached out at the start of a new cohort and this time, Olajorwan was ready to join. “I wanted to finally get a high school diploma and have a good job as a construction worker.” During his time in YouthBuild, he worked hard, attended both online and in-person classes, then earned his construction credentials. He also worked toward getting his high school diploma while attending YouthBuild classes.
One year after graduating from YouthBuild, Olajorwan showed incredible self-motivation and discipline. He was resourceful, took initiative and asked GESMN’s staff for help when he needed it. He faced employment hurdles like layoffs during the pandemic, but Olajorwan stayed positive, continued job searching and landed a job.
In May 2021, Olajorwan was close to completing his high school diploma when he had a serious leg injury. Due to his injury, he couldn’t walk for several weeks; unable to work, he was laid off.
Despite setbacks, he persisted and officially got his high school diploma on June 18, 2021! Olajorwan isn’t done yet; he looks forward to fully healing and using his diploma to obtain a new job in the construction industry.
YouthBuild is a national program funded by the Department of Labor, with over 225 programs in the U.S. that help students earn money while working to build a brighter future. Learn more about the program here.