East Boston resident Craig Walker received his graduation certificate from the YMCA Training Inc. program during an impressive graduation luncheon and ceremony held on July 29 at the Omni Parker House.
YMCA Training Inc. provides access to employment that offers family-supporting wages and benefits to unemployed and underemployed adults. The program, part of the YMCA of Greater Boston, has more than 4,000 graduates in its 28-year existence.
As part of the training program, Walker specialized in administrative assistant support and worked in an internship at Wheelock College in Boston. He is now employed at the college in an information technology/help desk position.
Walker was one of the featured speakers at the graduation ceremony, talking about his previous employment experience and how he came to enroll in the YMCA jobs training program.
“At the end of last summer, I was let go from the New England Aquarium as their community outreach coordinator,” Walker told the guests at the luncheon. “I take complete ownership in the fact that computers were not my strength. My productivity, when it came to conducting outreaches, mentoring teens, leading discussion groups, chaperoning field trips or writing recommendations and the like were exemplary; however any of my administrative responsibilities that involved using a computer intimidated me and as a result my productivity suffered.”
Walker said he saw a newspaper advertisement about YMCA Training Inc. and decided to enroll in the program. After completing his internship at Wheelock where he learned to master computer technology, Walker was hired to work in its information technology department.
“Yeah, the guy that was intimidated by computers is now trying to fix them for a living,” said Walker with a smile. “I have a long way to go before I can call myself proficient, but YMCA Training Inc. helped reinforce that I have what it takes to be successful.”
Walker thanked YMCA Training Inc. officials for their support and guidance and “for providing an optimal learning environment.”
In separate speeches, YMCA Training Inc. administrators Anne Meyerson and Elsa Bengel, Vivian Leonard, chair of YMCA Training Inc. Partners Council, and Kevin Washington, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Boston, congratulated Walker and the other graduates of the eighty-ninth cycle of the highly acclaimed training program.