LIFE of NC has graduated over 2,176 participants from the STRIVE attitudinal and job readiness training class.  After 19 years on the job, that makes over 1500 people who have been directly placed into jobs in the local market.  The individuals we serve are often the “hardest to employ” with significant hurdles such as education, transportation, and former incarcerations that must be addressed.  By the end of the four-week program, however, none of these barriers can stop the success of our graduates.  Our last cohort has all since found gainful employment, and the most recent 11 students from Cohort 215 are now clearly job ready.

 Meet Mr. Thomas:

When I started this program, it was for all the wrong reasons.  I honestly thought there was nothing new that I could learn from this program.  However, after the first few days, I realized that I have always been living by other people’s expectations, which always caused me to never measure up.  Ms. Barnes in particular showed me that my current situation is not my final destination.       

I have overcome many misconceptions I had about myself.  I learned that my meaning of success is much different in my eyes than that of many others.  For me success comes from learning from my past decisions, both the good and the bad, not repeating the bad and striving to better the good ones.    

Success for me is simply being happy about what I see when I look in the mirror.       

I also learned in this program we are always responsible for our own actions.  Meaning everything begins and ends with me.  This program has shown me that time management had become a weakness for me in my 9 years of being on disability.  It also has really shown me how to live.     

Life has become more vibrant, more beautiful.  We are all given a limited amount of breaths, so I now ask myself daily, “How am I using my breaths?  Am I wasting my breaths?”  And now my answer is I will make each and every breath count.        

Thank you, LIFE of NC, STRIVE, and Ms. Barnes for giving me this opportunity.