“The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work” – Harry Golden
Gavin Saldivar enrolled in Southwest Training Services, Inc’s In-School Youth/WIA program after being referred by his guidance counselor for both job and career development in February 2015.
The first time I met with Gavin he had a plan but did not know how to execute it because of obstacles he felt he would not overcome. Gavin was dealing with major depression issues since he was in 8th grade. He was able to mask this by doing what was needed to get by. He stated that when he entered his sophomore year at Washington High School, his depression worsened because he was dealing with the deaths of grandfather and great-grandmother within the same month. These deaths left him completely devastated and vulnerable because they were two people that he felt he could communicate with. With the help of some close friends, he was able to complete his sophomore and junior years.
During his senior year, his anxiety rose to the level of almost committing suicide. He stated that he felt constant pressure by family members that almost caused this. This pressure made him lose the ability to complete projects that were necessary to graduate from high school.
After meeting with Gavin several times and developing a concrete plan that would lessen the stress and anxiety of school work and projects, he was able to move forward. Those meetings consisted of improving on filling out job applications in order to secure employment, exploring careers and visiting colleges and technical schools. He also completed a financial literacy component which informed him of the options needed for scholarships and financial aid. This component also gave him the skills necessary to learn budgeting management skills. This led Gavin to set up his own checking and savings account.
Due to an unfortunate chain of events that occurred earlier in the school year, Gavin was not able to walk with his class at graduation. Through perseverance he obtained his diploma at a school board meeting. During his meeting, he also had the honor of receiving the Scholastic Silver Key for a poem that he submitted earlier in the year.
Gavin was able to secure employment this past summer with the Washington county Recorder of deeds as a clerical aide. He gained skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the workplace. Because he exceeded expectations throughout the summer, he received and outstanding performance award. This was based on perfect attendance, work ethic and exceptional attitude.
Gavin is now enrolled at Community College of Allegheny County with a major in History Education. His goal upon graduation is to obtain a career as a History teacher where he can influence the lives of future generations.