2 min read

14,873 Kilometers: Workforce Development Spotlight

14,873. That’s how many kilometers Henry traveled on his journey from his home country of Ghana to his new position as a Student Counselor Advocate with Commonpoint Queens. Henry arrived in Florida in 2011 and after a few months moved to North Dakota to attend university. He ended up completing his degree in biology in Ohio. After graduation, his years of living on his own prompted him to move to New York to be closer to family. 

Even with his degree in-hand, Henry was having a hard time finding work. He accepted a position at Century 21 simply to pay the bills, but the job “took a part of me every day.” He couldn’t be himself, there was no opportunity for growth, and he was feeling down and lost. His uncle suggested he call Commonpoint Queens’ Workforce Development department. 

Henry took the advice and made the appointment. He met Ahuva, his Employment Coordinator, and they immediately bonded as they are both bubbly, outgoing people. Henry said, “Ahuva saw my passion to take care of people.” She encouraged Henry to look at positions that fit his personality and passion to help others. 

Again Henry heeded the advice given and began applying for jobs that played to his strengths. His enthusiasm and warmth shined through during an interview with Erica, our Out of School Youth Program Director, and she offered him a position as a counselor the very next day. 

Henry says, “I was really lost. How could I have a degree but not find a job? I love working with people but never saw it as a career until Ahuva helped me see it. I am excited to start working with young people and helping them the way Ahuva helped me.”