Dillon Ruby’s story includes a turn that is unfortunately too common in the lives of young people looking to change their situation – distractions got in the way and he stopped pursuing his goals.
But Dillon was determined not to give up, and in the past month, he was recognized at the Bellevue Public Schools Adult High School Graduation Ceremony and promoted to the job he had been working toward.
Dillon had bounced around from different communities, first in Bellevue, then to Blair and back to Bellevue. His mother had battled with health problems, so he dropped out of high school after the 10th grade to work and help support her.
“After a few months, we got back on track with bills,” Dillon said. “And I really wanted to get my GED, because I knew that if I didn’t get it then, I wouldn’t get it at all.”
Dillon had heard about the workforce development Partnership program, and he signed up in April 2010. He went straight to work studying for his GED and got a part time job working at a Goodwill store.
“When he started in Partnership, he was doing really well,” said Career Specialist Byron Olsen. Things were looking good.
But as Olsen explained, Dillon began to get distracted by other GED students, and before long, he abandoned his GED classes.
“It was hard at first,” Dillon said. “I didn’t stay focused and I kind of gave up.”
It would be approximately a full year before he would return to his studies, but Dillon decided to come back in the spring of 2011 and pick up where he left off.
“When he came back, he was really focused,” Olsen said.
“I told Byron I really wanted to go back,” Dillon said. “That GED was the last thing I had to get. I knew.”
That work paid off, because by June of that year, Dillon had completed his final GED test, and he was hired at Modern Equipment, Inc. in September.
Dillon took a job on the paint line, but he had his eyes on a welder position. He stayed after hours to learn welding on his own time so he would be better prepared to move up in the company.
“And just about two weeks ago, I took a welding test, and I passed,” he said.
Since then, he was promoted and reached his goal of becoming a welder.
“I really like the Partnership program because Byron didn’t just sign me up and leave me,” Dillon said. “He kept checking on me and kept me motivated.”
Congratulations, Dillon! You’ve proved it’s never too late to get back on track to meet your goals!