Harold is a lifelong Chicagoan, having lived all over the city, and having worked a variety of jobs. He spent more than 20 years of his career as an optician. Making and selling glasses was a good living. But selling glasses is difficult for someone in his 60s, the perception in the market is that “people want to buy their glasses from someone young and hip”, Harold says.

After leaving the world of glasses, Harold found jobs for several years with Greyhound and the CTA. But after budget cutbacks at both, he found himself without a job, and came to Inspiration Corporation in 2011, after hearing about our Employment Services program from his brother.  The skills he gained from the class sharpened his abilities in looking for work, but he also realized he wanted to “give back” in a field that he feels strongly about.  He got tuition assistance from Inspiration Corporation, and is working on his CADC (alcohol and drug abuse counseling) certification.

Harold hopes to be certified and have an internship by the end of this year. He’ll work 2 years in all aspects of the field, where he hopes to impart some of the lessons he learned as a young man trying to overcome his own addictions.  He also hopes to help others in the same way he found help from the support staff at Inspiration Corporation.

“Until I met them, I didn’t think there was an honest person in the world.”, he says about his Trainers and Career Specialists. “They’re all wonderful people, and have had a great impact on my life.”

Harold considers himself a hard worker, and while he’s piecing together work right now, he knows that the training, support and skills he’s received these past few years are bound to pay off soon with a new job in his new field.