Haashim Kelly is an example of a person who is truly living his dream of gaining education and skills and giving back to the community. A bright young gentleman donned in the modern wear of the carpenter, yet passionate about his craft. For Haashim, who will graduate in June with a diploma in carpentry from Central Georgia Technical College, it's a dream come true.
As assistant building coordinator for Macon Area Habitat for Humanity, Haashim helps coordinate volunteers as they build or rehabilitate housing units in Lynmore Estates, part of Habitat’s goal to eliminate substandard housing in Macon.
When talking with Haashim, you discover quickly that carpentry is something he loves. It's a passion he traces back to his youth, working with his stepfather. "It was a great memory; something we could bond to. I've always been good with my hands, and I love being outside. I’m definitely an outdoors person."
Haashim says that when he came to Macon, he looked around at different colleges where he could get a good education and skills in carpentry. "Before I went into carpentry, I worked in website design and the designer I worked for really wanted me to stick with that. Carpentry was close to what I wanted to do, though, so I chose Central Georgia Technical College."
While studying at CGTC, adjunct instructor Mark Strickland, told Haashim about two immediate job possibilities; one of them was with Habitat. He said that was the best decision he ever made.
"The Habitat model and what they do worldwide is amazing," he said. "It is very close to me. Going from being homeless this time three years ago to graduating from college and now working for Habitat…it’s a great accomplishment.”
Haashim said he received great support from CGTC, from the support system throughout the college to his instructors, including carpentry program chair Brad Jamison. He says that he wants to return to CGTC in the future to gain additional certification in construction.
When asked what he would tell people that are not sure about a career choice, Haashim says, "Consider the technical college. You should be self-determined and do your homework, but the technical college provides a great support system for you to succeed. Life is what you make it. Be realistic. Try to make the best out of life with the opportunities available, and go for what’s in your heart. You won’t go wrong."
About Central Georgia Technical College
A comprehensive higher education institution, Central Georgia Technical College provides students more than 190 career program opportunities with numerous degree, diploma and certificate options, in addition to customized business and industry services, continuing education and adult education services. The College serves Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Jones, Monroe, Putnam and Twiggs Counties. More information about CGTC can be found at www.centralgatech.edu.