Over the past eight months, many of you have gotten to know our apprentice Leonard. He completed our foodservice internship program in 2019 and we reconnected when he and fellow graduate Philip were bunkies in prison. As with all of our graduates, Leonard was able to return to work with us upon his release last May.
With heavy and hopeful hearts, we bid Leonard a fond aloha as his last day with us is this Friday, January 27. At Touch A Heart, we're ohana, thus we'll continue to keep in touch with and support him.
Reflecting on his time with us, Leonard said: "Touch A Heart helped get me out of my comfort zone and back into society. They continue to motivate me and constantly check in to see how things are going."
Leonard will continue applying all that he learned with us as he journeys forward. "My goal is to get my own place and live a peaceful life," he added. "Touch A Heart helped me by teaching me life skills so I can make the right decisions. I'd like to thank Touch A Heart for helping me get back into society, not judging me for my past mistakes, and accepting who I am."
One of the most valuable lessons he learned while with us was the importance of giving back, which he was able to do through Kupuna and Family Meals and Meals With Aloha. Leonard will also keep pushing himself forward despite any set backs and learning new skills.
"We've been so blessed to have Leonard back with us. It was perfect timing as his experience and skills in the foodservice industry allowed us to introduce some of our customer favorites, like beef spinach luau- style and the eggplant parmesan [on this week's menu]," our Executive Director Robin shared. "We know that this next step in Leonard's journey forward will be a good one, and we're confident that he'll succeed because he does everything with his whole heart and mind."
Please join us in wishing Leonard all the best. We're grateful for his contributions to our organization and community.