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Career Services Center - Bastrop

Meet Damian

Workforce Challenge

Damian came to the Career Services Center in Bastrop to get help with obtaining his GED and finding work. Originally from California, he has had a hard life and faced abuse from family members at an early age. He started working at age 12 helping a forester cut limbs off of trees and load them for delivery. Damian was given $50/day for this work. He would take the money home, where his mother would take it from him and buy drugs with it. He ran away at 16 and lived on the streets for for 2 years before he came to Louisiana to live with friends.

Workforce Solution

Damian had heard of our Youth Program through his friends that were in it. His youth counselor helped Damian enroll in GED night classes and obtain him a job as a janitor through the Youth Work Experience Program. Damian finally started to settle down and was very happy to be on a schedule of school and work. He said it kept him out of trouble when he had productive things to do with his time. It also helped his depression. His youth counselor enrolled him into the Center's Mentoring Program so he could talk about his life and it helped him sort out his feelings of hate, sorrow and abandonment. His counselor said, "I really saw Damian change before my eyes."

Outcomes & Benefits

Damian became a happy and friendly 18 year old young man. He did so well in his job as a janitor at the school board that they continue to call on him to fill in when other employees are on vacation or sick leave. He is still in Pre-GED classes and has brought his grade level up from a 4th grade level in reading and math to a 11th grade level in both. Damian will be taking his GED test during 2011. Damian said he has changed so much because of WIA and now feels he will continue to succeed.

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