When you aren’t sure which road to take, having someone to guide you can make all the difference. Goodwill provided the pathway, but it was Tommy who had the drive and passion to succeed.
Due to a physical disability with his hand, Tommy was sometimes bullied by his peers and suffered from depression, which led him to inflict injury upon himself. With the guidance of family and a Milwaukee Public School psychologist, Tommy began to open up about his feelings and apply himself to his studies.
Tommy was in the inaugural class of Career and Technical Education students from Milwaukee Public Schools who attended classroom training in Skills for Life and Work and Goodwill’s Culinary Institute Program. This new partnership between Goodwill Workforce Development, Goodwill TalentBridge and Milwaukee Public Schools was created to bring awareness of training programs and opportunities students can access. After hearing about the options available, Tommy applied for and participated in Goodwill’s Culinary Training sessions at Goodwill’s Café 1919. While in training, Tommy gained valuable work experience, as well as his ServSafe Certification. Not only did Tommy graduate from Goodwill’s Culinary Institute Training Program, he also graduated from Vincent High School in 2016.
Says Tommy of the experience, “I learned great skills in cooking, safe food handling, good customer service, and learned a lot from my teammates. One of the best things I learned was how to form relationships with everyone in my group as well as with the staff at Goodwill. In my training group you had young people and older working together and learning from each other. I felt really comfortable.”
Since Tommy completed his training he has had two part-time jobs in addition to still going to school. “I gained a lot of confidence doing this training and it helped me explore opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’ve been able to gain a different perspective on what I want to do, and what skills I want to work on.”