Graduation time: Goodwill grads celebrate at Seattle ceremony

July 19, 2018

Posted in: Job Training & Education

More than 150 Goodwill students, their families and staff packed Seattle Goodwill’s Administration Building on Thursday, July 19, to celebrate students graduating or completing Goodwill programs.

Students were awarded blue and orange sashes, and several Job Training and Education (JTE) staff members highlighted program standouts and volunteers who have generously committed countless hours serving Goodwill’s mission to provide free Job Training and Education Programs for those in need.

Seattle Goodwill Board Chair Broderick Smith and Principal of Martin Smith Inc., Ryan Smith, honored four students with scholarships from the H. Martin Scholarship fund, which was created in 2003 to honor the legacy of Broderick’s and Ryan’s grandfather, H. Martin Smith Jr. H. Martin was a longtime board member and supporter of Goodwill.

“I want to thank our graduates,” Broderick said. “Keep up the hard work. You are the future of this community, and I’m really grateful to be a part of this celebration with you.”

Youth Year-Round Program (YYRP) participants Zakia Mohammad and Kidist Wondem, and Youth Aerospace Program (YAP) members Alexander Drexler and Kevauna Reeves were awarded with $2,500 scholarships to help further their education.

For Zakia, the scholarship money is invaluable.

Zakia has overcome significant barriers since arriving in U.S. with her family from Somalia as an infant. With non-English speaking parents and 10 siblings, Zakia began working at 14-years-old to provide family income. She’s juggled school at Seattle’s Franklin High, a nursing program in West Seattle, near full-time work and hours of time at Goodwill all to create a strong future for herself.

“The Smith Scholarship is going to do a lot for me, because I am trying to go from a two-year to a four-year university after Green River College. With nursing, that is a lot. In nursing, there is a lot of spending on your classes and different programs. With the Smith Scholarship going toward my tuition, I will have extra money to go toward my tests for nursing. It really does a lot.”

Visit Seattle Goodwill to learn more about Goodwill’s free JTE Programs or check out the many volunteer opportunities to help support Goodwill’s mission.

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