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Preparing young adults for future success

Garfield Jubilee’s Christina Muzzie does what it takes to ensure young adults in her charge have the best chance for success.

“We’re really a second chance program,” said Muzzie, an academic supervisor. “If (a young person) has faltered or had obstacles to their education, (Garfield Jubilee’s) job is to facilitate a second chance whether it’s a GED or high school diploma.”

Partner4Work funds Garfield Jubilee’s Smart Horizons program. Using $385,000 in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds, Garfield Jubilee will help 70 young adults with a diploma or GED and occupational skills training.

Among those young adults is Ninti Jackson.

“I was failing and was about to drop out and just say forget school,” Jackson said. “One day I was at work since I wasn’t going to school anymore, and I saw a poster that said, ‘Get your high school diploma in six months.’ I thought I’m going to try it out. So here I am.”

Jackson was one year shy of earning her high school diploma and started classes with Garfield Jubilee in September 2016. She’s on track to graduate in early 2017.

“After this, I’m thinking about college,” she said. “I never really thought about college, but now I am.”

Earning a diploma or GED not only forms the foundation for employment opportunities, it boosts a young person’s self-esteem which can have a profound effect on every aspect of a person’s life. The enthusiasm and passion is infectious.

“I take inspiration from them,” Muzzie said. “They really work hard, and they do it on their own. No one is making them do it this time. They want to be here.”