OUR LEARNER SPOTLIGHT: Richard Whitt, Recent Upskilling Student
Known by his peers for his positivity, Richard Whitt is a man who never gives up. After 30 years in the customer service industry, earning numerous promotions and awards, Richard was unexpectedly laid off in 2019. Determined to turn this blow into an opportunity for growth, Richard reflected on the advice he had often shared with others, “I know when one door closes, another one opens up.”
At the age of 59, Richard realized he would need to develop new capabilities to meet the challenges of an evolving workplace, so he enrolled in BeLit’s upskilling program located at our PA CareerLink partner site in Suburban Station. By offering upskilling as one of our cost-free courses, BeLit provides critical additional training in foundational skills for our advanced learners wishing to grow or change their careers.
When the pandemic struck and classes shifted online, Richard’s preference for in-person instruction and personal connection with his classmates initially made the transition to remote learning difficult. Now, a year later, Richard considers his zoom classes a blessing, and is grateful that his teacher, Marcus Hall, was willing to tutor him throughout this past year in order to close his skill gaps.
Now 60 years old, Richard has successfully completed his upskilling courses as well as a technology certification program to master skills like Microsoft Excel, Access, and Quickbooks. As he studies for the entrance exam to a career in technology and customization, Richard keeps in touch with BeLit staff saying he would like to give back to the organization that gave him a second chance when he needed it most.
Richard says he would love to return to Beyond Literacy to motivate other learners who are searching for their purpose, and inspire them not to give up. He tells us, “A lot of people are looking for a change or to make themselves better. Beyond Literacy [is] a wonderful tool to get learning or growth and take advantage of the opportunities available.”