Congratulations to our Spring 2015 Graduates!

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Finances managed. Interviews lined up. Jobs received. Goals accomplished.

The participants of Career Gear’s Spring 2015 Professional Development Series (PDS) had a lot to celebrate.

Last Wednesday, 31 men from diverse backgrounds and life experiences were recognized as graduates of Career Gear’s PDS Spring 2015 semester. The event was generously hosted by Career Gear-supporter AIG, and took place at the international insurance organization’s headquarters overlooking the East River Harbor.

While the sun set and the Brooklyn Bridge illuminated, Career Gear staff, interns, volunteers, supporters, and workshop facilitators gathered to recognize the accomplishments of these men. The Spring 2015 semester spanned five and a half months, during the course of which participants attended workshops on a variety of topics, including: financial goal setting and budgeting, job search techniques, men’s health, emotional intelligence, time management, the power of positive communication, and conflict resolution in the workplace.

Throughout the semester, the men gained the skills, understanding, support, and community needed to transition their lives in a positive direction. “This semester, we had over 45 workshops scheduled, which is the largest number of classes that we’ve ever had, “ noted Oscar Prado, Career Gear’s Director of Programs in his introduction to the ceremony. “Most of our workshops are facilitated by volunteers that share their expertise to provide the men we serve with powerful and practical information.”

One of the highlights of the evening was the keynote address by one of Career Gear’s newest board members and former participant, Warwick Williams, LMSW. “The first time I actually thought about trying to get my Masters degree, I actually brought it up in a Professional Development Series workshop,” explained Williams, regarding the significance of the program in his life. “Everyone in that room was extremely supportive, and its surprising how impactful having support from people who truly want you to succeed motivates you and makes some sort of dynamic within individuals to move forward in their lives.”

In addition to receiving certificates of completion, PDS graduates received gift bags with items donated from a variety of supporters, including: AIG, Seiko, Brooks Brothers, the Financial Planning Association, Wurkin Stiffs, the Staten Island Museum, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Cufflinks.com, and ConBody.

Career Gear is incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support from community-based organizations, corporate sponsors, individuals and volunteers that make this work possible.