Success Stories | James

Before discovering Eckerd Connects, James was a single parent, cycling through warehouse jobs with no upward mobility, no healthcare, and, as he described it, no ‘true happiness.’  

He struggled to find a career path and did not have the means to pursue education or industry certifications. As he recalls, 

“I needed stable employment to support my child, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I couldn’t afford any credentials or certifications.”  

While in our Ohio Workforce Development program, James was dedicated, hardworking, and made every effort to prepare himself to succeed in the workforce and in life.  

“Eckerd Connects taught me how to set realistic goals, prioritize life responsibilities, and learn financial techniques that helped me achieve self-sufficiency.” 

He was able to identify Commercial Truck Driving as a desirable career path, obtain his commercial driving license, and secure employment with Focus Freight LLC, which offered him more money than his warehouse jobs and allowed him to better care for his daughter. When asked what was most impactful about our program, James praised his career coach, 

“The love, support, and sincere push for me to reach my goals from my Career Coach Melanie Smith was the biggest impact. It gave me the motivation I needed.” 

James’ accomplishments did not come without barriers. Traditional program methods were not enough to fund the Class “A” Commercial License that he needed. James needed a Success Award to cover the cost of this certification.  

Success Awards is an Eckerd Connects initiative that supplies funding for vocational and educational pursuits to individuals in our programs who have shown commitment to academic and career improvement. 

James was identified as the ideal recipient and quickly used the funding to get his commercial license. This added support helped to show James that hard work and dedication can pay off. When asked what the secret to his success was, James explained it was not a secret at all: 

“Be responsible and stay on the right path. 
You have to put in the work to get the desired results.” 

James is now planning to start his own trucking company and put his commercial license to good use. He is determined to create the best life for himself and his daughter.  

“Sincerely, I want to thank the Eckerd Connects staff, my career coach Melanie Smith, and those who donated the funding for me to attend training & obtain my Class “A” Commercial License. Without you, I would still be working warehousing jobs, struggling to support my daughter.” 

 Help us support young parents, like James, as they work to build better lives for their children. Donate now!

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