Congratulations 2021 HabiCorps Graduates!
Images above: Program Manager Kristin Chappelle poses with graduate Kenneth; Tool bags, donated by generous sponor Dewalt, and certificates were awarded to graduates; Graduate Taylor poses with HabiCorps instructors Gary Mitchell and “EZ” Smith; Friends and family join graduates for a harbor-side celebration; Kristin congratulates the 2021 graduates; Habitat Chesapeake COO Steve Bolton says a few words; HabiCorps staff, board members, and graduates mingle
We are incredibly proud to announce the graduation of our 2021 HabiCorps Workforce trainees! Our trainees completed 1700 service hours across 10.5 months on homes throughout Baltimore, helping build decent and affordable homes in our communities while learning critical skills in the construction trades.
On a warm August evening, graduates celebrated in style with their friends and family as they looked to the future with new skills. Steve Bolton, Chief Operating Officer of Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, led the event, alongside Kristen Chappelle, HabiCorps Program Manager, who awarded certificates and customized tool bags from sponsor Dewalt to each graduate.
“These last two years have been memorable – I appreciate you all,” Kristin Chappelle said, referring to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and the resilience shown by the graduates. “You really did the service that we needed. Those houses are finished because of you all. Thank you, each and every one of you.”
Now, after months of hard work, graduates get to look forward to a future with more choices. As David “DJ” Jordan, Director of Inclusion and Diversity at Aerotek Industrial, mentioned, the HabiCorps graduation was just as much a celebration of accomplishments as of future goals the graduates “get to” reach for.
“Now that you’re graduates, you get to choose what skill you want to employ. You get to develop a skill in an industry that you want. You get to engage in the workforce how you want to, and better than you did before,” he said, speaking to a crowd of graduates, their friends and families, and HabiCorps instructors Leroy “EZ” Smith and Gary Mitchell. “You get to do that, and that’s amazing.”
HabiCorps graduates and their guests were also joined by Habitat Chesapeake board members, including Aerotek Regional Vice President Kelly Martin, Aerotek Senior Manager of HR Operations David Benton, and Sean Davis of Morris & Ritchie Associates, Inc. Partnerships with sponsors like Aerotek and support from board members help make HabiCorps’ mission a reality.
This mission includes next steps for many of these graduates, too. HabiCorps works with graduates to find job placements, and offers grants for further education and training programs. On top of those benefits, trainees also receive in-classroom training and support throughout the program, equipping them with professional skills for the workplace.
“I can say that i’s really helped me grow, professionally and personally,” HabiCorps graduate Star said, standing to offer a few words during the graduation. Like many graduates, Star hopes to put these skills to use helping her community – giving back, so other community members can have the freedom of choice, too.
Along with Habitat Chesapeake CAO Gregg Mitchell and CFO Candice Van Scoy, every member of Habitat Chesapeake would like to congratulate the 2021 HabiCorps graduates for their accomplishments in the program. With a great deal of perseverance and adaptability, graduates walked away with more than just a certificate – they are equipped with a toolkit to build their future.
If you or someone you know might be interested in learning a trade through the HabiCorps Workforce program, find out more information by visiting https://www.habitatchesapeake.org/work/habicorps
About Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake
Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake (www.habitatchesapeake.org) brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Since 1982, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake has built more than 770 homes in 18 communities, providing a brighter future for 2,700 children and family members. Homeownership is proven to transform lives – improving health, increasing children’s chances of academic success and offering an opportunity to build wealth across generations. Likewise, homeownership enhances neighborhoods by bringing tangible investment, engaged, long-term residents, rising property values and a sense of community.