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Meet Christopher After serving in the United States Navy, Christopher returned to Houston, ready to rebuild his life. But, he found it challenging to adjust and to translate his skills and he was unable to secure a job. He hit roadblock after roadblock until a friend told him about United Way THRIVE. “When I first went to United Way, my goal was just to be employable,” says Christopher. “I just wanted a job and revenue coming in so I could start living a decent life.” Christopher started with a United Way THRIVE job training program, building new skills while getting help creating a resume, learning interview techniques and preparing for a career outside of the military. Through United Way THRIVE, Christopher earned his core construction certification and began training to earn his welding certification. With help from his United Way THRIVE employment coach, Christopher landed a job in construction and, within a year, was promoted to foreman. He continues to build his skills and has his eye on the next step. “We’re moving on to another project and hopefully, I’ll be assistant superintendent by then,” he says. “I’m also going to school for welding and, probably by the end of this year, I’ll have my welding degree.” Christopher plans to use those skills to build something for his family. He is currently taking United Way THRIVE’s small business classes, where he is learning the ins and outs of starting and running a small business. Knowledge he plans to put to use when he starts his own remodeling business. And, United Way THRIVE is helping Christopher make another dream come true: the dream of homeownership. “That’s always been my dream,” Christopher says. “Ever since I was young, I’ve wanted to own my own home. That’s a big goal in my life. And now, United Way has made that goal attainable.” Christopher has a lot to be proud of: a good job that enables him to support his family and save for the future, the opportunity to continue his education, and a growing savings account. But what Christopher is most proud of is the good example he is setting for his son, who recently completed a United Way youth program and got a summer job. “I have a lot of confidence that I didn’t have before,” Christopher says. “I can apply the skills I learned in the military with the skills I’ve learned from United Way and I can put together a better life.”