Johnny Brummit, an Orlando teen raised by his grandmother and, at times, the juvenile-justice system, took a microphone at the White House on Thursday afternoon to tell President Donald Trump and a room full of administration officials about how a nonprofit job-training program has changed his life.
“I didn’t always make the correct choices in life as a kid,” the 19-year-old began. “But knowing that I had a praying grandmother … I wanted to do better for myself and for my family. … I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know exactly how far I could go and if it was [affordable] for me.”
Last winter, Brummit, a 2018 graduate of Jones High School, enrolled in a 16-week culinary training program at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, which then led to a prep-cook job at Aloft Hotel in Downtown Orlando. He has been promoted twice in less than six months.
Brummit’s remarks were part of a one-year anniversary celebration of the Pledge to America’s Workers, a Trump administration initiative to encourage companies to provide education and training for workers of all ages, from those fresh out of high school to older adults whose jobs have been made obsolete through automation.
The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation, one of over 300 organizations to sign onto the pledge so far, has supported the Second Harvest program with a $25,000 grant. The foundation invited Brummit to attend the ceremony, where he was one of three workers to speak.
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