The Jobs Partnership LifeWorks Graduation isn’t just the end of a course. In the same way that LifeWorks is more than a class, Graduation is more than just its completion. It’s a celebration of all the Students have accomplished and moreover, a celebration of their new hope and path for the future. Graduating LifeWorks represents a tremendous accomplishment–and a significant milestone of success in Students’ lives.
The most recent LifeWorks Graduation Celebration took place on May 23, 2016 at the landmark First Presbyterian Church of Orlando on 106 East Church Street. Family members, Volunteers, Church Partners, Employer Partners and Jobs Partnership staff came together to celebrate the graduation of 65 LifeWorks Students, seven of which have already enrolled at Valencia College this year.
“I have heard many Students say ‘This is the first thing that I have ever completed,’” says Kimberly Hooper, LifeWorks Program Manager. “It is cause for many Students to celebrate as their families gather to share their loved one’s accomplishment.”
Over the length of the course, Students have built relationships with their Coaches, made new friends with other Students who’ve shared this journey with them, been introduced to Community Resources and Employers, and have made connections with the Church Partners for continual support and encouragement. This “dream team” of individuals and organizations attend the Graduation Celebration to cheer on the Students as they take the next step on their new path in life.
The Jobs Partnership puts in every effort to make this event as special as possible for the Student. They invite key speakers that will applaud the Students’ accomplishments and inspire them to achieve even more for themselves and their families, which in turn positively affects their communities. The Jobs Partnership Event Volunteers give a warm welcome and set the tone of excitement for the Students as they arrive. Awards and recognition for achievements like “perfect attendance” and “completion of all course work” reinforce the character traits that The Jobs Partnership emphasizes throughout LifeWorks Training.
Many of the students come from different backgrounds and walks of life. The Jobs Partnership’s unique combination of churches, employers and community organizations help bring together people with diverse backgrounds to work towards the common goal of reaching the “working poor” and underemployed in Central Florida. Amidst these current times of tension in our nation, The Jobs Partnership helps to foster unity, hope and healing as people of all walks of life serve alongside one another to eradicate poverty in our communities. The LifeWorks Graduation is a beautiful portrait of that unity as they all celebrate the success they’ve had, and the success to come.
“Our hope is that the Students feel that there are now people who care and who they can reach out to in the future as they continue on their journey,” says Kimberly. When asked what the LifeWorks Graduation should accomplish in Students, “We hope that they will have an understanding of the support behind them as they take the steps to better themselves toward success. Graduation is a celebration, a turning point for them to realize they are now on The Way Up…and they are not alone!”