By Sherry Spaulding, Education and Youth Program Manager
I received a very special phone call today. It was Samuel Jordan, the 74-year-old patriarch of a Liberian family who was my very first job placement client when I started working at IINE’s Lowell office as an Employment Specialist in 2004. He was calling to tell me that he is retiring after 16 years with the grounds maintenance department at UMass Lowell, the job I helped him get when he first arrived in the United States.
As Samuel tells it, “You called UMass and you got me an interview there. You took me to the interview and waited for me to finish.” I remember that day well. I was so nervous for Samuel. The department manager wouldn’t allow me to sit in and I could see there were at least half a dozen other people in the boardroom for the interview.
I called the manager back a few days later but he couldn’t give me any details on how Samuel did. Turns out, he couldn’t say anything until Samuel’s offer letter had been sent – a full-time position with excellent benefits. Samuel was so excited. I was so excited. From there, I went on to help many other members of Samuel’s family.
As our call came to an end, Samuel shared with me from his heart: “I want to say to you from all of us [the Jordan family]. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! And May God Bless You! God sent you to me and to my family.”