It Put Value Back in My Name

Last week, 22 students graduated from our Apprenticeship Preparation Program.


The ceremony was a celebration of hard work, transformation, and achievement. It was a joy to welcome family members, friends, Flintridge supporters, city officials, and union representatives to share in the graduates’ achievements. California Assemblymember Chris Holden, a community leader and long-time partner, delivered a keynote speech in which he told graduates, “Don’t stop investing in yourself. When you invest in yourself, you invest in your future.” Taking this message to heart, four students have already become union members!


Reflecting on the journey, student speaker Travis Ake spoke to the audience: “I was at a crossroads. The program presented an opportunity I couldn’t really grasp at the beginning.” Travis said the program taught him to swing a hammer and be on time, but more importantly “it put value back in my name.” He concluded by addressing his fellow graduates, “there are all different walks of life sitting around this room but we have one thing in common: we’re striving to do something better.”


Student Eric Aranda told the audience how the program gave him “a better hope for my future.” He recognized Flintridge President Jaylene Moseley for putting her faith in him: “It really touched my heart and gave me faith in myself.” To inspire and motivate the current class, 2015 APP graduate Manuel Desales shared his journey from repeat offender to union carpenter, and motivated students to stay focused on their goals. Manuel also shared his story with us in a special interview — scroll down to see it!


Jaylene, Assemblymember Holden, and Ron Miller from the LA/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades presented graduates with certificates that will demonstrate their readiness to begin a union career. We are so proud of all the graduates and their commitment to the program and themselves.

Similar Impact Stories, You Might Be Interested In: