This week, we'd like to formally introduce you to our intern Jim and returning graduate Leonard.
Jim came to us through Shelter of Wisdom, a temporary housing facility for homeless individuals. He has a unique background having been a child actor who lived in the Hollywood scene from a young age before moving to Hawaii when he was 20. He then began working in the restaurant industry at various spots in Waikiki, including Denny's, Rascals, Chez Michel, The Hideaway, and Sergio's. Jim is a people person and enjoys building relationships, which made him an excellent waiter and bartender.
Through Touch A Heart, Jim has gained the right skills, vocabulary, understanding, and back-of-house knowledge to pursue his dream of being able to work again. This week, he's trying out for a job with our partner La Gelateria. We already have two of our graduates working there, and we hope things will work out for Jim too. If he gets hired, he'll be the first from Touch A Heart to be offered a full-time position while finishing our internship program. Jim already has the hours to graduate and recently scored 98% on his Hawaii State Department of Health food safety certification test. We look forward to celebrating his graduation at a later time.
When asked about the impact Touch A Heart has had on his life, Jim said, "It's a fantastic group of non-judgmental people who made me feel at home."
Additionally, our 2019 graduate Leonard has returned to us after serving his sentence. He's happy to have received a warm welcome back, and we're thrilled to have him helping with our Kupuna and Family Meals.
"The one thing that means the most is that there's no judgement; always aloha," Leonard said of Touch A Heart. "It teaches me that people are willing to help no matter what you did wrong in the past."
We thank you for making Jim and Leonard feel at home with us through your continued support and care.