Nigel’s transition out of the U.S. Army in 2019 wasn’t easy.
“Going into the new year, the pandemic ended up happening,” Nigel said. “So it was a weird time to transition from being a soldier to being a civilian.”
When looking online on how he could receive help, he found HVAF. We set him up with an Employment Specialist to figure out how to further his career. His employment specialist helped him with a personality test, improved his resume, and prepared him for interviews.
Nigel went through HVAF’s VetWorks program: an intensive 3-phase work, learn and earn program designed to skill up our veterans to achieve their earning potential. Veterans complete on-the-job training, have access to education and certifications, and receive assistance with obtaining a good and promising job.
“He is like our model VetWorks participant,” his employment specialist, Alberta, said. “He was enthusiastic and in contact with me every single day.”
After filling out applications together, Nigel received two job offers. He decided to work as a Project Site Coordinator at Indianapolis Urban League. IUL’s mission is, “to assist African Americans, other minorities and disadvantaged individuals achieve social and economic equality.”
“We offer creative and innovative programs to be able to assist individuals in Marion County and surrounding counties with being able to identify barriers that prevent them from securing employment, receiving access to healthy foods, individuals that have been impacted by COVID and so forth,” IUL’s Vice President of Programs, and Nigel’s supervisor, Kimberly Simmons said.
Nigel is mainly stationed at Arsenal Technical High School and Warren Central High School. There, he helps the students with college and career readiness. This includes helping with resumes, filling out FAFSA forms, taking them on college visits, and more. Recently, he started providing a hot meal to the students every day after school.
“We give them whatever they need to be successful,” Nigel said. “I want to restore my community. There are a lot of minorities that go there (Arsenal Tech and Warren Central) and I think that them seeing someone who looks like them makes a big difference.”
Kimberly said the organization understands the value of hiring veterans, and it was no different with Nigel.
“Nigel is extremely personable, he is hardworking, and he understands the population that we serve daily. And he is laser-focused on providing the best services as possible. All of this was definitely shown to us during his interviews,” Kimberly said. “So we knew from the very beginning that we knew he was someone we wanted to have on our team.”
Looking back, Nigel said he is thankful for where he is now – thanks to IUL and HVAF.
“I take everything now, a day at a time. So realistically, I’m just going wherever God pushes me,” Nigel said. “My biggest thing is servicing the community and giving back. I feel as though it’s a blessing to be a blessing to others.”
You can help veterans like Nigel achieve a career that can ensure a life of self-sufficiency TODAY:
Part Two of Nigel’s story is here!