DI―A Stepping Stone to Success

“This program has taught me many skills, but unexpectedly, what I learned the most was about me.”

I failed to graduate from high school and eventually ended up with a criminal record. When I hit rock bottom and there was no place to go but up, I made some important changes in my life. I came back to the gospel after many years, finally finding myself and my testimony. Still, I had a difficult time finding a job, let alone going to school. I remembered a friend who had participated in the Deseret Industries (DI) training program, and I knew others who got their start at DI. They now were attending school or had steady jobs. That was what I wanted.

I was taking classes for my GED, a high school–equivalency diploma, when I started working at DI. DI helped me by funding the classes and test and also helped me schedule work around my schooling. Balancing work, school, and family was a major challenge. With help from my job coach, mentor, and development counselor, I found ways to organize and prioritize my responsibilities.

My training began in clothing production, where I learned how to sort, hang, and price clothing. I also worked with books and shoes, using a similar process. Within two months my job coach asked me to become the lead associate for clothing production. My heart was overwhelmed with thanks. I couldn’t believe they would pick someone like me for that important position.

While I was training to become the lead, I faced the challenge of learning to tell people what to do. I thought it was being bossy. However, I soon began to realize it is directing people. As I learned how to direct, I also learned the importance of being a good example. This helped me teach others. Becoming the lead taught me to see the potential in others and to be more Christlike as we accomplish the work together.

The week after I became the lead, I was able to go to the temple for the first time. I had never worked so hard in my life, and I began to realize what success feels like in this life and in the next. I couldn’t ask for more.

In time I was rewarded with an opportunity to participate in a business partnership. This was a program in which DI would pay my wages while I gained work experience with a local company. I was well prepared for job interviews by the job search classes I had taken at DI. I applied at many places and received some callbacks, but my heart just wasn’t in it. Nothing felt right. I felt lost and didn’t know what to do. Feeling frustrated and confused, I knelt down to pray and ask in faith to our loving Heavenly Father to guide me. A few days later I was presented with a business partnership to work in the cafeteria of the temple. What a blessing! Those who know me know that I often speak about the temple. I knew this opportunity was meant to be.

I have achieved so much from the DI program. I have received my GED and am more confident, responsible, and independent. This program has taught me many skills, but unexpectedly, what I learned the most about was me. I am able to face my challenges and make decisions on my own. I never knew I had the potential to become so much more than I was. This program has helped someone like me, who had a rough past, to now have a bright future. Everything has helped prepare me for what may come. The DI program was a stepping-stone on my path to success.

I know that Heavenly Father put special people in my life. I appreciate the struggles they went through that led them to DI. I thank each and every one who helped me in this program. Your words of wisdom will teach a nation―starting with me. From the bottom of my heart, I can’t say it enough: “Thank you!”

“This program has helped someone like me, who had a rough past, to now have a bright future.”

For more amazing stories like Lose’s, visit the DI’s Facebook page by clicking here.