On January 26th, UPNEXT held a graduation for the participants of the last cycle. The graduation was a cheerful occasion to commemorate the success and hard work of our graduates. We enjoyed delicious pizza and engaged in conversations about the graduates’ transitions. During the ceremony, participants accepted their certificates and delivered inspiring speeches.
One of the most outstanding speeches was delivered by participant Wayne Hooks. Mr. Hooks’ determination was manifested in his diligence and consistency. His impactful change was apparent throughout his time at UPNEXT. In his speech, Mr. Hooks said that the program’s small group setting was helpful for his progression. He also noted that the attentiveness and constant support from the UPNEXT staff was vastly different from other programs he’s participated in. Other participants that graduated expressed their gratitude towards the staff and the program as a whole.
The graduates, now equipped with workforce training and fatherhood skills, are ready to take the next step to change their lives. Three of our graduates are participating in the UPNEXT Transitional Work Program with the sanitation department of Times Square Alliance. Another graduate will begin a fellowship with Bronx Community Solutions, where he will aid in supervising community service mandates. UPNEXT is proud to have impacted the lives of these men and provided assistance as they have taken essential steps to transform their lives for the better.