Troy Grate

I have had the opportunity to interview Troy three times since he graduated from the GC3 Employment Program.  I met him first after he completed the program and again after he was hired at the River Room (local restaurant overlooking the Georgetown waterfront) as a busboy. Troy was 33 and this was his first job. Then again in January 2020 and learned that he has received two promotions. I was amazed at how much he has changed. Bill Gaskins, Associate Director

“I learned more in that one week than I have in most of life about how to get a job. They listened to me and gave me encouragement. I had never had a job in my life. I heard about the program from my sister. I had tried to find jobs, filled out applications, and no callback. I was so down on my luck and lacked the confidence to present myself well to others. I did not know what to expect when I arrived at A Father’s Place for that first day of boot camp. I was met by Mr. Ronald, Teon, and Tasha who made me feel welcomed and tried to put me at ease. I had no clue what to expect. They were always so positive and encouraging. I entered the program feeling hopeless. I never could have imagined how the week would turn out and how my life would change,” said Troy.

“I went to my first interview at the River Room about a month after finishing the program. I was so scared. Tasha had been encouraging and supporting me. We even practiced interviewing together. I was scared. I walked into the interview. I don’t remember the questions that were asked. I remembered everything I learned. I made eye contact. I acted confident. I was hired. My very first job. I began work a day later working a dishwasher.”

“Since then I have been promoted twice. My first promotion was to busboy and now I am a line cook. One lady who has worked at the River Room since they opened took me under her wings and taught me a lot. She has given me so much encouragement.”

“I love what I am doing. I have a bank account for the first time in my life. I still live with my mother. I still walk to work. I now have a girlfriend (my first).”

“I am not the same person I use to be.”

Troy’s Background

Troy grew up in a single-mother household with three other siblings living in the West End of Georgetown. The West End of Georgetown is home to 20% population of Georgetown which is mainly African American. 26% of the population in this area lives below the poverty level. Troy’s mother cleans rooms a hotel in the area. Opportunities were limited for Troy and his family since they do not own a car. Walking to work and shopping for groceries was the norm.

“When I first met Troy,” stated Ronald McInnis, Career Coach, “he was timid, shy, lacked confidence. You could see this in his spirit and posture. I knew this would be tough to give him the tools he needed to make a change. His spirit was broken. He showed up each day to the boot camp and on time. I remember the day we had the mock interviews”

“I knew this was going to be tough for Troy. The mock interviews take place in front of the whole class (about 11 members and 5 career coaches). We always have a human resource partner from an employer in Georgetown County to conduct the interviews. Troy went through a box of tissues to wipe the sweat off his face. He was so scared and nervous. He finished the program and our team to continue to work with him and encouraging him,” continues Mr. McInnis.

“Today is he is a different man. Our employment gave him the courage to make a change in his life. Our career coach team was around to constantly encourage. I have to give credit to Troy for the person he has become,” states Bill Gaskins.

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