Anthony Chandler said he regularly tells his family and friends to go to the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s Southwest Family Enhancement and Career Center to get help finding a job.

“It is not a one day thing. There are steps,” said Chandler to the nearly three dozen students, who were being honored for successfully completing courses in Southwest at the second annual Evening of the Stars. “This program really worked.”

Chandler, who graduated more than a year ago from the hospitality course, first worked at Courtyard Marriott and recently joined the staff at RSC, a HVAC service and supplier that participates in DCHA’s Section 3 employment program.

DCHA and UDC employees “changed my life,” Chandler said. “All I do is go to work and come home now. I got a career.”

The graduation event, held June 27, honored the students who had completed University of the District of Columbia courses that are held at the Southwest Family Enhancement and Career Center (SWFECC). They studied hospitality and tourism, direct support professionals, construction core, and property management. There are also upcoming courses on skills development, career readiness, and more.

“We want you to be successful. This center is for you and the other residents to take advantage of what is being offered,” said DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett who praised the teamwork between the center’s staff and the students. “You graduates are a great reflection of what people can do when they work hard together.”

Office of Resident Services Director Larry Williams said celebrating each success towards an individual’s end goal is always appreciated and well deserved.

“This is a wonderful accomplishment and I congratulate you all,” he said.

Greenleaf Senior Resident Council President Belinda Belk said she was skeptical of the programming at the center at first, but has since come to relish it.

“Thank you for pushing me and making me do this. It was something I needed to do for myself to prove it can be done,” said Belk, who plans to keep up her studies as an example to her children. “I’m ready to do what I need to do to make it in this world. I’m so happy and so proud that I’ve accomplished something in life.”

Courses rotate at the center on a regular basis. Some courses run for two weeks and others may take as long as nine weeks to complete.

“Just look at this place as a huge resource for you,” said Douglas Davis, assistant site director at SWFECC. “Job leads, job development, whatever you need, you know we will help you.”

To close the dinner celebration, Deputy Director of the Office of Resident Services Brian Harris said, “It is time to understand the journey continues. We all have a purpose, but we have to fulfill our promise.”    

DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett congratulates graduates on their achievement.
Anthony Chandler credits SWFECC staff and programs for helping him find a career.
Hospitality and Tourism graduates.
Direct Support Professionals graduates.
Construction Core graduate.
Last modified: 7/6/2018 11:54:35 AM