Tongue Point Job Corps Gave This Young Lady a Second Chance

“I’m here.” Student Maya Howe says referring to her career choice to enroll in the electrical program at the Tongue Point Job Corps Center in Oregon. “I’m actually building a strong foundation for my future—finally.”

Maya says, “I dropped out of high school and recall feeling terrible after seeing all my friends walk and graduate without me.”

We asked her what changed?

“I got sick of working dead-end jobs that I’m not going to go anywhere with, places where there wasn’t any room for improvement; minimum wage, just struggling to get by. A couple of my friends came here, some years back, and it worked out for them really well. They’re successful, and their stories are inspiring to me.”

Maya got her GED in a manner of weeks. “I knew I had the capabilities; I just never had the support or the resources.”

She said she found that support at Tongue Point Job Corps in Astoria, Oregon. “I think I’m fortunate to come to Tongue Point and be kind of close to home. I wanted to get into a career that’s going to last a lifetime. We’re all going to be getting into really good jobs after this. And, HBI has their own programs all over the U.S.”

HBI, Home Builders Institute, trains many American youth. Maya is studying to become an electrician. “And hopefully go into overhead lines after that,” she says. We asked Maya if she’s afraid of heights.

“I kind of am. But I’m getting over it a little bit by working on the scissor lifts and things like that.”

She’s proud of what she’s accomplished and so is her family.

“They told me they’re super proud of me. They’re rooting for me every step of the way. It’s rewarding to be able to make them proud. After so long of just struggling.”

It’s a lot of hard work. So, we asked her…is it worth it?

“It’s so worth it,” she says, “so worth it to all the kids here, because we’re success stories. The majority of us end up getting out of here and working the rest of our lives and helping and contributing to others for the rest of our lives.”