Four ambassadors graduate into full-time jobs

Good Neighbor Ambassador cohort graduation ceremony features appreciation, kudos, and words of wisdom for a bright future.

Director of Government & Customer Relations Jacqueline Muhammad takes a photograph during the Good Neighbor Ambassador graduation ceremony April 19. Photo by Nicole Harvel.

Good Neighbor Ambassador graduates, program partners, and well-wishers from across the Sewer District gathered on April 19 to recognize Cohort 9’s achievements and to wish them well.

Many Sewer District leaders spoke, along with several program partners, and a few themes emerged: The GNA program is ground-breaking (now being emulated around the country), and it offers ample opportunities for participants to connect, learn, strive, and succeed.

Cohort after cohort, GNAs are meeting the challenges they are given. As Government Affairs Program Manager Crystal Davis said to this year’s graduates, “It took blood, sweat and tears, but the diamond that came out is precious.”

“What a find you have been,” said Chief Administrative Officer Constance Haqq. “We are so proud of you.”

A great deal of emotion swirled through the room, not least from the graduates themselves: Grant Beard, James Collins, Bishop Crosby, and Robert Randle.

“No speech could attest to the greatness of this program,” Bishop said.

Grant spoke of the value and impact of stepping out of his comfort zone; James expressed deep gratitude for the program and all he got out of it; and Robert described how different the Sewer District is from his previous employers.

Here, there is a culture of inclusion, he said. “And you can be who you really are.”

Director of Government & Customer Relations Jacqueline Muhammad, Facilities Technician Grant Beard, Customer Service Representative Robert Randle, Chief Administrative Officer Constance T. Haqq, Customer Service Representative Bishop Crosby, and Custodial Worker James Collins. Grant, Robert, Bishop, and James all graduated the Good Neighbor Ambassador Program April 19 and were hired into full-time NEORSD jobs. Photo by Nicole Harvel.

Good Neighbor Ambassadors serve communities affected by our projects. They help build connections in the community through dialogue, resident involvement, and work opportunities such as site cleanup and maintenance, weeding and mowing, and general project assistance. Ambassadors interact with residents and Sewer District employees throughout their work experience, developing critical career skills during a one-year program.

For the first time in the history of GNA, every graduate is staying put with full-time Sewer District jobs. Bishop and Robert have taken positions in Customer Service, Grant has become a Facility Technician, and James has joined the Maintenance team at Southerly: all of them, very welcome additions to the Sewer District.



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