“I’m a better man than I was the first day I came in the door at ACSS”

Thanks to your support, Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency has helped 38 more people make the transition from homelessness to employability though our 34th CareerWorks class. Participants and their families marked the happy occasion with ACSS staff, donors and volunteers in a spirited graduation ceremony.

“ACSS has provided me with an outlet to reassess my life and to reconnect with my personal core values,” said Daryl, who was elected Class 34 president by his fellow CareerWorks participants. “I feel like I’m not only better prepared for the work environment, having come through ACSS. I feel like I’m a better man than I was the first day I came in the door at ACSS.”

One of our volunteers shot this video clip of Daryl’s speech:

 

The ACSS CareerWorks program provides homeless individuals an intense curriculum of life skills and job-readiness training. Our participants call themselves VIPs — an acronym for Visionary Innovative Partners, indicating the culture of collaboration and accountability that permeates all of ACSS’ programs.

The importance of improving the person, in addition to career, was echoed in a keynote speech by essayist and motivational speaker Obasi A. Kitambi.

“It’s not about simply becoming something,” Kitambi said. “It’s about becoming somebody.”

Kitambi also warned graduates to be aware of the distinction between true friends who will encourage and celebrate their success in life and “people who love to hate on your greatness.”

You can watch more of his speech here:

 

Our graduates come from all walks of life and different circumstances. Eleven of the 38 Class 34 grads are U.S. military veterans. What they all share in common is a new sense of optimism about their careers, and about their lives.

Daryl led his fellow grads in their class affirmation: “We’re unique, confident and committed VIPs!”

You can help future ACSS classes to graduate. Donate or volunteer. And if you ever need your confidence in the human spirit restored, just attend one of our graduations.

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