Hubert H. Humphrey Job Corps Was Just What this Young Man Needed

J. Sanders Jr. was not on track to graduate from high school. And his mother told him, “not graduating from high school is not an option.” So, Sanders knew he had to put his life in order.

He enrolled at the Hubert H. Humphrey Job Corps Center in St. Paul, MN and launched a new career in culinary arts.

“I couldn’t have hand picked a better student,” says culinary-arts instructor Chris O’Neil. “Sanders was always on point, even when he didn’t get it right the first time. He came in humble, went through the program humble, and finished with a humble attitude. He got frustrated and struggled at times, but he would always say, ‘I’m here for me.'”

Adjusting to campus life took some time, and Sanders admits it was hard at first. But, he constantly reminded himself that he was doing all this to improve his future.

“Stay focused and remember you are here for you,” he would tell himself over and over again.

After eight months of hard work and determination, Sanders graduated with a high school diploma, culinary-arts certification, and ServSafe Food Handler certification.

At the young age of 17, Sanders now has a full-time position with Hy-Vee Market Grille and works part-time for another restaurant. He’s off to a great start and looks to move up in the culinary-arts industry—all thanks to a loving mom and Job Corps.

“Completing the program at Humphrey,” says Sanders, “was the best present I could have ever given my parents.”