Genesis Center honored as Champion in Action

NBC 10 and Citizens Bank present a check for $35,000 to Genesis Center, selected as a Champion in Action in the category of strengthening communities through workforce development,

Genesis Center of Providence gives people the skills they need to succeed, and it's a place where all are welcome.

"When we finish this program, we'll actually have our certificate and actually be able to go out into the workforce and be medical assistants in doctors' offices, hopefully," said Amanda Medeiros, a student.

The classes are coupled with internships to give students hands-on experience.

Genesis Center also provides adult basic education, including several levels of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

"And in all of those classes, we integrate workforce competency, financial literacy and technology," said Shannon Carroll, president and CEO of Genesis Center.

Currently, Genesis students represent 40 countries and 13 languages, serving 800 adults a year, and more than 100 children. Its on-site early learning child care center allows many parents to take the classes they need.

"I call it the dual generation learning model. An adult can study upstairs, while their child is learning downstairs," Carroll said.

At Genesis Center it's about sending their students out the door with not only the skills they need to find a job, but on a path to their own career.

Like Chef Welbi Genao who was able to open up his own restaurant -- Blend Café on Reservoir Avenue in Cranston -- thanks to skills he learned at Genesis Center.

"The keys, the knowledge to learn the business, learn the food, but got me to where I need to be right now," Genao said.

After spending some time incarcerated, Genesis Center helped him turn his life around.

"Now I have a daughter. Now I have a family. About to get married. The whole transition was great," Genao said.

Success stories like his are one of the many reasons Genesis Center was selected as a Champion in Action in the category of strengthening communities through workforce development.

As the first Citizens Bank Champion for 2016, Genesis Center of Providence receives $35,000 of unrestricted funds, plus volunteer support and exposure on NBC 10.

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