Dejon, Navy Veteran, Machining 1 Graduate

by | Aug 31, 2023 | 2023, News & Media, Student Stories

“It’s been the best experience. My confidence is through the roof from being here.”

Dejon lived all over the U.S. as a child.  “I moved around quite a lot. I’ve been everywhere,” he said as he reflected on his nomadic upbringing, where stability was rare. As the oldest child in a family constantly on the move, he learned early on that adaptability was key to survival. 

After high school, Dejon joined the U.S. Navy and became a boatswain mate. He honorably served for eight years before deciding to transition to civilian life. After working in roles ranging from satellite technician to roofer, Dejon found Workshops for Warriors when he drove past the school.

Dejon Thomas operating CNC machine at Workshops for Warriors“I saw that Workshops for Warriors had a course for machining, and I liked what I saw,” he said. When asked about his first day at WFW, Dejon explains that he was nervous but determined to learn the art of precision machining. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to succeed because this was something I’ve never experienced,” he said. He acknowledged that the training would not be easy, working with math, trigonometry, and complex computer systems, but he recognized that WFW offered him an opportunity for growth.

The camaraderie and support at Workshops for Warriors helped turn the challenging curriculum into a shared endeavor. “It’s been the best experience,” Dejon remarked. “I would ask the instructors questions over and over again, and they never got irritated or annoyed. And now my confidence is through the roof from being here.”

After graduating from Workshops for Warriors’ Machining 1 program, Dejon enrolled in the school’s intermediate Machining 2 course to further his learning and gain even more certifications before he enters the workforce.

When asked about his plans, Dejon envisions a future where he can provide for his daughters, breaking the cycle of uncertainty that marked his own childhood. “I want to build something for them so they don’t have to go through the same things that I had to go through growing up. I want to build generational wealth,” he said.

To those who might be hesitant about braving a new journey like the one provided at Workshops for Warriors, Dejon offers inspiring words: “Don’t be afraid to try something different… It’s a great opportunity to go a different path and see how far you can take it.”

Dejon is grateful for the instructors and staff at Workshops for Warriors. “They’ve been there every step of the way. They’ve never turned me down. Now, I’m just ready to keep going.”

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