Train to Gain
I wanted to get my high school diploma but school wasn’t working for me. I can’t sit in school all day. It’s just boring to me. So my other option was to get a GED, but I’m too young to get a GED. I’m only 16, and in New York City, where I live, you can’t take the test to get your GED until the year your class graduates.
Then I heard about Job Corps. Job Corps is a program created by the U.S. Department of Labor. It helps young people build careers. It’s for just about anybody ages 16-24 who can legally work in the United States. In Job Corps, you live on a campus, kind of like in college, and get your GED, get job training and get paid for it. The Job Corps people said it’s easier for group home kids because we’re used to living with other people.
You get to pick the trade you learn, like auto mechanics, painting and plastering, computer technology and nursing. You can learn your trade either in 6 months or one year. In a year you learn more and make more money.
I’m going for business management, and I’m going to stay a year. I’m going to be on the campus in Buffalo, New York, but they have campuses all over the country. I leave in two days. I’m nervous, but I know a few people who did Job Corps. They said it would be good for me because it gets you off the street and when you’re on the campus you have nothing to concentrate on except the program.
One of the best things about Job Corps is that I’ll still be in foster care while I do it. So when I’m through with my year there I can come back and go into an independent living program. When I do return, I plan to work part-time and also apply to college then. Job Corps will help me find a job and a college to attend. When you have Job Corps on your resume, I hear it’s easy to get hired.
I know Job Corps is going to be more of an experience than being out here in the group home, ’cause now I’m not going to school and I’m not following curfew. In Job Corps, since you live on campus, there is no such thing as a curfew!
My biggest fear is messing up and getting kicked off the campus. One screw up, they can kick you out and you can’t reapply. Still, I think it’ll be good for me. I think it’ll be a challenge.
—For more information call 1-800-733-JOBS, or go to the website: www.jobcorps.org.