Tariq came to the Goodwill Program in June of 2018, when he was referred for the Juvenile Court Program, and later for CCMEP. Despite is bright personality, growing up Tariq found himself in bad situations, and not always making the best decisions. When he first joined the program, his attendance to school and meetings with Goodwill were a big struggle. His failure to make up class work led to bad grades, and not attending the meetings with his Case Manager made the opportunity to work with him pretty tough. He always had dreams of going into the Army, following his grandfather’s footsteps, but the choices he was making got him even further from that goal. The only person he really had as a support system was his grandmother, who was the one always reminding him to make good life choices.
After a couple tough months at Goodwill, Tariq really started to show improvement with his school. He started taking the encouragement given to him, and he completed Goodwill curriculum, participated in Summer Youth, obtained employment, completed a resume, cover letter, and references, obtained his license, and took his ASVAB to get into the army (which he took very seriously)! Through the encouragement of others, he really started to take hold on his life and believe that he CAN do it.
Tariq’s mindset really started to change when he finally understood that Goodwill wasn’t there to yell at him, but to push and motivate him, because he wasn’t giving his all when everyone knew he was capable of so much. He started to open up about areas he was struggling in and started accepting help and advice. Through all the challenges he faced, he stuck with it and pushed through. He is smart and strong, and once he realized those things about himself, he realized he could conquer the world.
Tariq left for the Army on June 22, 2020, and he is currently at boot camp. Case Manager Supervisor Jessica Strouse says, “I believe Tariq now sees what is out there and available to him in the world and he wants it! I would say that by choosing to go to the Army—he is done with settling and wants more for his life.” Tariq is undoubtedly going to do great things. He wants to continue his education while in the army, and we have no doubt he now understands the importance for planning for a brighter future. A future brighter that the old Tariq could even imagine.