Success Stories | Dondre

After couch surfing from one friend’s house to another, Dondre relocated from the west coast to the Northwest Georgia area – over 2,000 miles away.

Dondre experienced circumstances and events that uprooted him from the place he had comfortably called home. He lacked the grounding of substantial income, a solid plan, and a chosen direction for the future. This abrupt change, which many others would have perceived as an insurmountable barrier, made it difficult for Dondre to visualize his future.

Arriving at a city he had never heard of, he was blessed to find shelter, which he treated as a foundation on which to build. He began to plan for his future, which included volunteering in order to benefit the shelter he was staying in.

While riding home one day, Dondre noticed a sign that advertised GED success. He immediately decided that was something he aspired to achieve. Although he considered the many barriers keeping him from his goal, he didn’t allow himself to entertain quitting. Dondre’s mantra to himself became, “Things are working out for me!” He always saw opportunity in the cloud of opposition.

Dondre’s test scores revealed basic skills deficiency, but he chose to view this as an opportunity to work hard and prove himself. He devoted himself in the classroom through independent study and extra homework, on top of the skills he was attaining through teamwork as he and his classmates blossomed in an environment full of levity and laughter – exactly what they needed to succeed. He continued volunteering outside of the classroom and began to see that he was bettering not only his local community, but also himself.

The successful attitude Dondre wore each day carried him to GED completion and certification within a short timeframe. Now, his dreams and future career prospects are becoming a reality. He is determined to follow in the footsteps of his family members and serve in the military. In the meantime, Dondre has found employment in the city where he lives. He is managing his own home and continues to build himself up – all on a foundation of education, inspiration, and an attitude of gratitude.

He’s endlessly grateful for his support group that encouraged him to pursue a GED and pushed him to pursue success outside of the boundaries he initially perceived.


Services were provided to Dondre as part of the workforce development grant called Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA). Eckerd Connects | Paxen is one of the youth providers in Northwest Georgia in partnership with WorkSource Northwest Georgia. All services are funded at no cost to the participant.  Click here to learn more about WIOA programs in Northwest Georgia.

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