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  • Goodwill Acadiana

Sisterly Support & Tough Love

HiSET instructor Janet Francois poses with graduate Tykeil Hunt in his graduation cap and gown
Goodwill HiSET Instructor Janet Francois and her student Tykeil Hunt

  Sometimes a little push from the right people is all it takes to help someone succeed.  For Tykeil Hunt, the “Goodwill Family” he found through his HiSET preparation classes made all the difference in achieving his goals. 

         Tykeil was the only male and the youngest person in a class of ten students. He would show up to class, but wouldn’t try that hard to succeed. The women in his class became like sisters to him, playfully scolding him for not putting more effort into his studies. One after one the rest of his class graduated, and when they would stop for a visit and saw that Tykeil was still in the class, they made sure to encourage him to work harder.

          He started skipping classes, so Janet (his instructor) made an agreement to call Tykeil’s grandmother every time he didn’t show up. His attendance improved, but his effort in the classroom had not. Offering some tough love, Janet told Tykeil he couldn’t return to the class until he secured a job for at least three months. After working at a restaurant for three months, Tykeil returned to class with a new drive and desire to do better. Within six months, he received his high school equivalency certificate.

          Tykeil returned to Janet to ask for help in enrolling in a welding class at SLCC. She helped him complete his registration and FAFSA. He started the program and just shy of three months until completion he wanted to quit because he was struggling with math. Janet refused to let him quit and started tutoring him. In December of 2018, Tykeil received his welder certification at the SLCC graduation ceremony. Janet was not only able to see her most recent HiSET students graduate, but she was able to see Tykeil achieve more than he ever thought possible.

          Tykeil told our services team that he never thought he would graduate from anything, and now, he has both a high school equivalency diploma and a welding certificate. He has his Goodwill community to thank for his success. The “sisters” he made in the classroom and the support system he found in Janet, became his family. His network of support allowed him to persevere and reach his goal of becoming a certified welder.  None of this would be possible without our donors and shoppers who believe in our mission of connecting people to good jobs, good homes, and good families.

Janet Francois and Tykeil Hunt embrace in a hug
Janet Francois and Tykeil Hunt embrace in a hug

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