When WorkWell’s fourteenth cohort of trainees graduated on June 23, it was a joyous occasion. Not only had they proven enthusiastic about job-skills training, but just as important, they had bonded as a group, giving one another welcome encouragement. Such esprit de corps would not have been possible without one trainee in particular, whom we’ll call James Lewis. On graduation day James connected personally with each of the graduates, shaking their hands after they received their certificates and making sure everyone felt inspired to forge ahead in search of meaningful work. As James likes to say, “It’s not about me, it’s about the team.”

James is well positioned to become a contributing member of society. In the past he developed skills as an industrial millwright and a floor restorer, a foundation he is building on now. Barely two months after being released, he has already accomplished a lot: secured a driver’s license, received fork-lift training from One-Stop Career, completed the WorkWell program, and actively pursued job opportunities—all this while volunteering at a local church and making regular trips to the library. James devours books on everything from religion and psychology to carpentry, the solar industry, and subcontracting. His dream is to someday run his own business renovating homes and reselling them. Asked what motivates him to accomplish so much, James replies, “As long as I’m true to myself, God shows me the way. WorkWell has inspired me and my classmates to become successful and productive returning citizens. Thank you, WorkWell!”