TWPDC Partner Success Story: STRIVE DC

October 27, 2013 by Main, Successes No Comments

TWPDC Partner Success Story: STRIVE DC

Working Together to Make DC Work

To give you a window into STRIVE DC’s approach, meet Justin Henry.

When Justin came to STRIVE DC in search of a job, he was a 20–year-old African American male who never thought a change in appearance could make much of a difference. He was tired of being unemployed and living “the street life.” When first told about STRIVE DC’s corporate dress code, Justin bristled. Wearing a shirt and a tie was not the norm among his peers or in his community. However, Justin reluctantly complied with the dress code. After two days in shirt, tie and slacks, Justin noticed how differently people, including his family, treated him. He started to eagerly attend the program, arriving 30 minutes early to the 9:00 a.m. class. He earned his customer training certificate; participated in several work experience assignments; and started to use his new networking skills with business owners on the H Street Corridor.

One day while having lunch at H&8th Pizza, the store manager complimented him on his professional dress. Justin properly introduced himself and struck up a conversation with the manager. The manager was so impressed with Justin that he offered him a job. It was one of several jobs that Justin was offered. “I never knew that my dress and attitude could make so much of a difference. “I went from being a kid on the street to an appreciated member of the community,” Justin remarked. Since graduation, Justin has been gainfully employed and he is now financially supporting his year-old son.

Justin continues to work with STRIVE DC to enhance his educational opportunities, hopes to enroll at UDC this fall.


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