• Meet Integrity’s 2020 Student of the Year

    At Integrity's 25th Anniversary Celebration, we honored Kemazee Cooper as 2020's Student of the Year. Here is his story: Kemazee Cooper, a recent Integrity graduate, was honored as this year’s Student of the Year. Kemazee said that he was surprised and grateful to be recognized. “It was kind of empowering, just being able to put in hard work and actually see your goals kind of come to fruition over time. It was a great thing.“   Kemazee begun his training journey with Integrity in 2019. He was looking for a new opportunity after finishing a job and heard about Integrity through word-of-mouth. Integrity is a big part of the neighborhood, so Kemazee often saw fliers or heard people talking about it, which is how he got involved.    Because he expressed an interest in working in the technology field as the next step in his career, Integrity connected him with Per Scholas, a technical school in Atlanta. Kemazee actually had to finish his training remotely because of the pandemic, but once he graduated from the program, Per Scholas and Integrity helped with his job search, and everything from creating his resume to preparing for his job interviews.    Kemazee now works at Capgemini, a global software company that partners with companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. He is providing site support right now and, with support and training provided by Capgemini, hopes to get into DevOps or cybersecurity.   Kemazee’s advice for people who are considering joining Integrity or who have just started an Integrity program is to take advantage of all the resources provided, and to remember that the staff at Integrity just wants to see you succeed. “Make sure that you use [the resources]. Make sure you have an open mind. And just make sure you work hard. Integrity has great opportunities, and I’m living proof of that. I really appreciate them for stepping out and going out of their way to help me and help the community.” 

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  • Meet Integrity’s 2020 Unsung Shero

    At Integrity's 25th Anniversary Celebration, we honored Eleanor Hillman as 2020's Unsung Shero. Here is her story: Eleanor Hillman was the recipient of this year’s Unsung Shero award, an honor which she found humbling. “You don’t actually look for accolades while you’re doing the work, but just to know that someone does see you and see the work you do makes you feel very humble.”   In 2003, Eleanor was homeless and addicted to drugs and alcohol. She entered The Grace Period Recovery House that provided transitional housing for women who were homeless, victims of domestic violence or seeking drug or other substance abuse treatment. The Recovery House was a program of New Jerusalem Baptist Church, where Eleanor attended church services. It was there that she met the church’s Senior Pastor Reverend BeckhamEleanor said Reverend Beckham would sometimes come and speak during the services she attended, and that he had very encouraging words.   After Eleanor got clean from drugs and alcohol, she attended skills training at the affiliated English Avenue Resource Center and later applied for employmentEleanor said Reverend Beckham would encourage her to go after jobs even if she felt she wasn’t qualified. “One of my jobs was at Georgia State University, and he said ‘Eleanor, go for it. I said “But I don’t have a degree, everybody there has a degree!’ And he said, ‘Eleanor, what God has for you is for you.’ So, I applied, and I got that job.” Eleanor went on to work at Georgia State University for 12 years.   Today, Eleanor works at Emory University as a Clinical Research Coordinator and at Empowerment Resource Center as the Outreach Coordinator. At Emory, she assists with research, recruitment and paperwork, and is known as “The Research Lady.” At Empowerment Resource Center, her main focus is going out into the community and testing people for HIV. Eleanor also helps people with other needs, such as getting clean from drugs or alcohol, by finding them ...

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  • Finding a Job and Setting Others Free

    When Stanley Frazier reached Westside Works after hearing about the program from a friend, he found out he had already been signed up for the program.  Something good was waiting for him as he began to create a new life after incarceration.  Stanley wanted to work and to be a stronger father to his two teen-aged children.  He enthusiastically completed the Westside Net program, then worked for a while as part of the Westside Beautification team.  He recently gained a full time position at the job fair Integrity hosted in partnership with Aramark in December. This job is Stanley’s first step toward fulfilling his long term mission. He is now sharing his story and insights with youth in his church and the community, telling them “you don’t always have to be cool; you don’t have to try to prove yourself on the street. That path leads to incarceration or death.” Like Harriet Tubman, Stanley has freed himself and is going back to free others.

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  • Nyoka Hambrick

    Nyoka Hambrick graduated from the culinary program in February 2019. Prior to enrolling in the program she registered for online classes but struggled to stick with them. "I needed to have a physical location to help me stay committed," she explains.

    Her daughter, Teshauna Hambrick, is an Intake Specialist and Career Advisor at Integrity. That's how Nyoka heard about the culinary program. Teshauna encouraged her mom to apply saying, "She was already a great cook so I felt like it would be a great opportunity for her."

    Nyoka said she learned a lot from the program but her favorite part was learning how to make sauces and dishes from scratch. She made mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce completely from scratch as well as a cheese sauce for a macaroni and cheese dish. Her favorite instructor was Chef Juliet Peters; her favorite part of the program was getting the chance to meet so many people who loved to cook. "Westside Works played a big role in my life. It helped me to get started and made sure that I finished," she said. 

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  • Lutrenda Mikell

    In 2018, Lutrenda was a stay at home mom who worked a part time security job to make ends meet. She was surfing the web looking for jobs and training opportunities when she stumbled across Westside Works. After registering and attending orientation, she decided the CNA track was the best fit for her. She enrolled in STRIVE, which is a prerequisite for the CNA class. "STRIVE taught me who I was and helped me to figure out where I was going. We had a large class of fourteen people and it was great to have so many different personalities meshing together. It helped everyone to learn something," she said. Lutrenda's personality and work ethic caught the attention of her instructors. They knew Westside Works had an open position as an Administrative Assistant/Intake Specialist and recommended Lutrenda for the job. She thought the office work schedule would be a good fit in her life and began working at Westside Works a few weeks later. "Westside Works has definitely improved my life financially. But it also helped me to have a more positive outlook on life," she said. 

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