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[Press] BOSS graduates celebrate changing their own lives

This article published on September 28, 2016 by Rosa Furneaux is about the graduates from the BOSS Career Training and Employment Center (CTEC) program. The article talks about what the program does and how it gives people opportunities and resources to help try and achieve their goals.


Stay the course. That was the message given to those sitting in the front row of Oakland’s city council chambers Friday night, when friends and supporters gathered to watch 29 men and women graduate from the BOSS Career Training and Employment Center, in a ceremony that acknowledged the significant hurdles they had overcome to gain employment while under the supervision of the Alameda County Probation Department.

BOSS, which stands for Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, is an East Bay non-profit which helps people access housing, education and employment. The organization’s career training program, which has now seen four graduating classes, specifically focuses on assisting ex-offenders and at-risk youth in getting work.

“I feel like it was a milestone. It was life-changing,” said Oakland resident David Lovell after receiving his certificate. Lovell’s past is present on his face: A large spider, drawn in ink, creeps further up his cheek when he smiles. Now employed as a warehouseman at Tru Shoes, Lovell speaks softly and talks with deference about the program he’s just completed. “It shows that anybody can do anything, especially me with face tattoos. I got jobs while being here, everything. So it’s opportunities,” he said.

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