Photo: Nigel Thompson/AL DÍA News
By Nigel Thompson / AL DÍA
Nowadays, Gabriel Ramos is very honest with himself when looking back at his early days in the Project WOW program, located at JEVS’ Orleans Technical College. At the time, he was still overwhelmed by the prospect of providing for a family while living check-to-check and pursuing an education.
“At first, I’m not going to deny it, I’m not that strong at will,” said Ramos. “I felt beat. I felt depressed. I’m thinking, ‘How am I going to make it through the month? How am I going to make it through the day?’”
Enter Project WOW, a free GED preparation and work training program for high school dropouts in Philadelphia ages 18 to 24. Participants get hands-on training in a multitude of building trades such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry and weatherization, in addition to information technology. They also receive job coaching services, including resume workshops and mock interviews, and have the opportunity to study and test for their GED.
For Ramos, it was the door to a life beyond worrying when the next paycheck arrives.