“I still use my training, not only to earn money, but to remind myself of the different skills that I have.”
Oliver is the definition of hard work and resilience. One of HFL’s first participants, Oliver has come a long way in his young life. After living at HFL’s center for a few years, he reintegrated back to his family in 2011. In 2019, he completed vocational school in welding, found his first job, and reached financial independence. He also decided to learn the skills necessary to be a barber and he even started his own salon! He was proudly able to support his mother and siblings with food, clothing, and medicine.
Then COVID hit and crushed his business. But that did not keep Oliver from learning how to provide for those around him, sharing, “This last year was challenging because of COVID, but I found someone to help cultivate, so I have been learning to grow fruits and vegetables.”
“Even though it was my first time cultivating, I was able to harvest a lot of food. I feel proud that I was able to do that. I’m proud that I have learned so many skills. I would like to learn more about rearing livestock. My long-term goal is to become a businessman using one of my skills to support myself and my family.”
Despite changing paths multiple times, Oliver has always worked hard and is determined to create a better life for himself and his family. He is also one of the first HFL youth to grow his family! “I have a son named Isaac. I want to be able to provide for all of us.”
Oliver recently began working with HFL staff again to help him strengthen his businesses and ability to provide for his family. Even though Oliver has officially graduated from HFL programs, we understand that sometimes, youth and families need additional support as life unfolds. No matter what he does, we know Oliver will be successful and continue to care for those in his life.