When Donnahue Laing talks about his young daughter you can see his smile from across the room. At sixteen, Donnahue experienced the challenges and anxieties of incarceration and missed the first year of his baby’s life. He remembers, “I had a year in placement – a year that changed my life. I realized everything I had I left behind and that I had to grow up and be a man. I needed help, and I needed to get that help.”
Last year, Donnahue began job readiness training at the Olney/Logan E3 Center, a program administered by Lutheran Children and Family Service. Donnahue was one of 199 students who have applied for GED classes or job readiness training since the Center opening in January 2011. In addition to learning work place etiquette, practicing interview skills and learning occupational skills, the E3 Center helps students become self-motivated, self-supporting and contributing citizens of their communities.
With the support and encouragement of his mother, Donnahue enjoys raising his daughter, has completed job readiness training at the E3 Center and is gainfully employed. “I needed to better my life for my child, because to better yourself is to better your child.”
The E3 Center empowers students to reach their goals, offers education in preparation for the GED exam, and offers work experience and job readiness. Donnahue sums it up perfectly, “It’s not about where you’ve been, it’s about where you’re going. You can move on from your past, and change your future.”