Tag Archives: graduates

Triathlete’s Advice to ACSS Graduates: “Build on Your Little Wins”

Triathlete Bishop Leatherbury found his inspiration in the affirmation of ACSS Class 13: "Powerful Warriors, Victorious Champions!"

“Take it one mile at a time,” Bishop Leatherbury advised graduates of ACSS Class 14. “Build on your little wins and when you get setbacks, take it in stride.”

Bishop is an ACSS board member, Southeast regional managing partner at Tatum Partners, LLC and, most recently, a successful finisher in the Ironman World Championship — a grueling triathlon in Kona, Hawaii.

He joined the competition to raise funds and awareness for ACSS, a non-profit organization that empowers homeless persons to gain meaningful and permanent employment through intense life skills and job readiness training programs. You can see his fundraising progress here: http://ironman.acss.kintera.org

While competing, Bishop says he was inspired by an affirmation coined by members of the previous graduating class (13): “We are Powerful Warriors, Victorious Champions!” With a thick black marker, Bishop inscribed “PWVC” on his hands, which he glanced at often for encouragement throughout the long triathlon.

The Ironman World Championship has a strict time limit of 17 hours. Bishop set a personal goal of 14 hours. See how he did in the video!


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Filed under ACSS Awards & Accomplishments, CareerWorks

ACSS Graduate Steve Foley: “A Transformation Took Place”

ACSS Graduate Steve Foley

Steve Foley, one of our VIPs (Visionary Innovative Partners) and president of ACSS Class #13, delivered this speech to our staff, volunteers, supporters and his fellow graduates at their Sept. 30 commencement ceremony.

Distinguished faculty, guests and COHORTS!

WOW!!! What a whirlwind it has been for the last four weeks. We have learned A LOT! We learned how important motivation is to starting our day.

Personal affirmations are essential to building our self esteem. We did this every morning during this process – and for me – the difference can be seen by others.

There was a transformation that took place. We changed from people who really didn’t know why they were here; to people who knew the purpose of self-worth, positive attitudes and a new found confidence in ourselves and our abilities.

The Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency staff has given us tools to give us the best chance possible of landing, not just a job, but to build a career.

Now, it is up to us to take those tools and build upon the solid foundation that we have gained here.

Another invaluable asset that we have gained from the staff is HOPE! This hope is of a great and rewarding future of self-sufficiency. This will happen because we will persevere. The reason for that perseverance is because “We Are Powerful Warriors and Victorious Champions!”

Our graduation ceremonies are always inspiring and a great way to experience the results of ACSS programs. If you would like to join us for a future ceremony, please contact us for the schedule.

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Filed under ACSS Awards & Accomplishments, ACSS Programs, CareerWorks

Snapshot of Success: Patricia Graham

All of us at ACSS are thrilled with the success of Patricia Graham.

In three short months since graduating from our CareerWorks program, she has obtained full-time employment and a promotion from sales associate to a commercial representative handling business accounts. And she’s just signed a lease for an apartment. She moves in today!

Here’s how Ms. Graham describes her experience:

“When I came to ACSS, in my mind it was the last house on the block. I was discouraged, frustrated, homeless and had no hope for the future. This was the lowest point I’ve ever been in my life. After leaving the ACSS CareerWorks orientation, I felt hopeful for the first time in a long time. After starting class, I was given a new perspective by the instructors. Within two weeks of graduating from the job readiness training program, I was called for an interview and got the job! I know this was because of how ACSS changed the way I viewed my situation.”

Congratulations, Patricia Graham! We’re proud to have you as an alumna. And thank you for sharing your story on how ACSS is breaking the cycle of homelessness.


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Filed under ACSS Awards & Accomplishments, ACSS Programs, CareerWorks