Prior to enrolling at the Young Adult Learning Center, Omar had been in and out of multiple programs and schools. “Back then, I was stubborn and selfish. None of my teachers were hard enough on me because they didn’t expect much,” Omar remembers.
Omar began his journey to true success after starting at the YALC in September of 2013 where he quickly became an instant presence on campus. His gregarious personality would take him to various classrooms and offices from one minute to the next. Staff at the YALC would joke about Omar sightings as it was impossible not to know when Omar was in the building. Â However, he soon started buckling down and getting serious about his work.
“When I came to the YALC, the teachers and counselors set high standards. Â They didn’t let me get away with the same stuff I was doing before.”
At the end of December last year, Omar passed the math section of his GED, the last section left to complete his credentials. He refers to the pass as the best Christmas present he has ever received.
Omar’s journey did not stop after obtaining his GED. Â After graduating, he enrolled part-time at Westwood College to pursue an associate’s degree in Physical Science. Even though the first few months of his job search proved futile, he stayed in touch with his teachers and counselors at the YALC and assured everyone that if he could just have a job opportunity somewhere, he would prove himself as reliable and hard working. He was ready to make a better future for himself and his three-year old daughter.
This past summer, the YALC had the opportunity to refer several students to Forrester Construction for their internship program and Omar’s name made the list. He jumped on the opportunity. Â He showed up early every day and worked tirelessly without fail. When his internship ended in August, Forrester decided to keep him on and give him additional responsibilities.
Working like this is the best feeling ever,Â Omar reports. “I can make plans for what I want to do every week now. Â I’m also able to raise my beautiful daughter. She’s perfect and I don’t want anyone else raising her. I want her to have all of the things I didn’t.”
He is now working with Forrester on Phase II of the Maya Angelou Learning Center renovations while continuing his studies at Westwood College. Next time you come to campus, keep an eye (or perhaps an ear) out for Omar, as you will see a proud and driven man hard at work.