Graduate Spotlight: Jamal Stewart, Class of 2012
Jamal Stewart was 12 years old when his parents died. Suddenly on his own, he was sent to live with an uncle in Tampa to complete middle and high school. After finishing high school, Jamal moved in with his grandmother in Deerfield Beach and soon became good friends with his cousin Reggie Butler. Together they worked the late night shift at the Sun Sentinel warehouse. But their grandmother worried about how they spent their days and was concerned about their futures. When they learned about YATC from a family friend, the cousins decided to make a move to improve their prospects. They applied and were accepted to the YATC program in 2011.
Although Jamal had a high school diploma, his academic instructors developed an individualized educational plan to help improve his reading, language arts and writing skills. After graduation in 2012, he continued working at the Sun Sentinel and kept in touch with YATC, hoping for a position in the automotive field. When a porter position became available at Deerfield Beach Toyota, YATC recommended Jamal and he earned the job. Now the proud father of a daughter, Summer, Jamal values his job at Deerfield Beach Toyota and is working to advance to an express technician position.
"I could never say enough about Charles (Whitehouse), Roger (Lamoreal) and Loren (Kushner) and the entire staff at YATC," he said. "They taught me so much and the instructors had so much patience when I just didn't get something the first time around."