Stories

Our PBSO Program Helped Teen Find Work and Determination To Pursue His Career Dream

William Tookes wanted to complete high school, go to college and someday become a teacher.

But first, the 18-year-old high school dropout had to build up his motivation and self-esteem, and stop telling everyone he was a failure.

The Urban League of Palm Beach County’s PBSO Workforce Development program helped him get on track to accomplish his career aspirations.

William signed up for our employability skills training where our instructors touched on the subjects of ethics and morality – the kinds of principles missing in his life, up until then.

During the sessions, he expressed an interest in becoming a daycare aide and talked about going to college after getting his GED certification and studying education.

Our staff helped William get an interview at Orthodox Daycare as a daycare aide. He got the job. At the center, one of the staff, Anne Chester, worked with him, training him and motivating him to be a law-abiding and productive citizen.

Things were going well for William until COVID-19 struck this spring.

The disease infected William’s mother in Boston, and William was heading there to see her when he got the news of her death.

Losing his mother to the coronavirus set him back, but the Urban League staff stayed in touch and encouraged him to keep moving forward with his goals.

William stayed in Boston and we contacted businesses close to him and helped him find a job. He got hired as a clerk at a Kroger Supermarket, not far from his house.

So far he’s doing well at his job and in the big city.

In fact, William thanked us for helping him:

I would like to thank Ms. Kennedy for all the assistance she has given me while I was participating in the program with Urban League. I really appreciate it. She has done an outstanding job. Every time I came in, she had nothing but positive words for me to keep me motivated. Without her help, it would have been a lot harder getting the help I needed.

So thank you again for all you have done for me.”

We’ll stay in touch with William and help him any way we can until he accomplishes his goals.

Learn more about our PBSO program here.

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