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Antonio Stroud - I Will Aspire

Antonio Stroud - I Will Aspire

“It was very spontaneous,” Antonio Stroud said. He was on the train when he learned his friend was going to a program at Goodwill where they give you a mentor and help you with your homework.

From that spontaneous moment when he declared, “All right, I’m coming with you,” Antonio has been coming to Goodwill regularly to meet with his mentor through Goodwill’s youth mentoring program. The program that began in 2010 matches young people, ages 12 to 17, with a role model to provide friendship, support and guidance to help ensure they will reach their potential.

Antonio considers himself a leader. Among his leadership responsibilities these days is serving as a board member of Peace in Focus, a non-profit organization that promotes photography and conflict resolution. He admits he hasn’t always been a leader, though.

When he was younger, Antonio was in a gang. But he began going to church and soon realized that the path he was on was not the one he wanted to stay on.

“I started being real with myself and my hobbies. Like if you’re in a gang, you can’t tell a whole bunch of your friends, yo, I like photography ’cause they’re going to clown you.”

At Goodwill, Antonio’s struggle to find a job also ended, when he found employment through one of Goodwill’s job fairs. “I like that I’m able to network here. I just like it. I’m comfortable. I like that I’m comfortable here.”

Did you know?

Goodwill stores are run as social enterprises, meaning they support Goodwill’s mission to provide job training for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment while also providing jobs and good quality, low-cost goods to individuals and families looking for value.

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