Michelle Obama Greets Tacoma Goodwill YouthBuild Participant


Tacoma Goodwill YouthBuild participant Deontee Bovan received national coverage last week when he was photographed shaking the hand of First Lady Michelle Obama. Deontee, far right in the photo, attended a YouthBuild, USA event in Washington D.C., March 16 along with fellow YouthBuilder Richard Cornelius and Program Manager Latasha Haynes. Deontee says he was just at the right place at the right time.

Mrs. Obama was described as down-to-earth and attentive. “It felt good to have someone with her power come up and say, ‘Yes, you can,'” Deontee said. “She really wants youth to do better for themselves and their communities.”

To see the CNN story: click here.

YouthBuild provides at-risk young adults GED instruction and opportunities to work in the construction trade. In 2007, Tacoma Goodwill received a $550,000 federal grant for the program. Locally, YouthBuild participants have helped build Habitat for Humanity homes and done a variety of other construction projects, including the construction of Tacoma Goodwill’s Custodial Training classroom.

Story credit: Matthew Erlich, merlich@tacomagoodwill.org

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