For the second time, I had the opportunity to talk to the Young Men of Vision student group at the Abbott Middle School in Waukegan. Doug Basler and myself, work for United Conveyor Corporation and were asked by United Way of Lake County to spend some of our Friday afternoon sharing key experiences with the young men.
The Young Men of Vision group has a strict behavioral and attendance code. Not everyone can get into this group in the first place, and of those that do, Mr. Michael Washington, Dean of Students at Abbott Middle School and also the Advisor for the group explained, not all can keep up the discipline to stay in the group. However, for those that do, they get special learning opportunities and meet exemplary people from the community. So getting through the Young Men of Vision program is a major achievement.
Since I had spoken a year ago to these young men’s predecessors in the group, I was prepared for what we were in for. Doug and I took the opportunity to share our stories about what we had done and what led us to talking to this group. We explained what it was that motivated us to do the work that we do talked a little about our business and the sorts of people that are on our team and how they got to where they are. Through our narrative we tried establishing the fact that education, hard work and finding a job in an industry you love will help you succeed in career and life.
If you are working only for pay, then that will make a long day. However, if like Doug and I, if you truly do work that you love, then the hours fly by and the best part of it is that you get paid for having fun! This was the message that we tried to get over to the group.
Speaking as an immigrant to this country, it was nice to hear that many in the group were born outside of the United States. We talked a little about the fact that people have widely different economic circumstances and advantages. However, since Doug and I have both had the opportunity to travel widely in our work, and USA is definitely a place where, even if you are not from a privileged background, compared to most places in the world, you can get a good education for free and have a great chance to make opportunities for yourself.
We left Abbott Middle School with the impression that this group of Young Men of Vision was very likely to get themselves good education, work hard and put passion into their future jobs for a successful life ahead.
Thank you United Way of Lake County for helping connect the vulnerable students of Lake County with special learning opportunities that help them succeed in a changing world and thanks to the efforts of their parents, teachers, family, friends, but most importantly of all – themselves.
About Andrew Warrington
United Conveyor Corporation