WOONSOCKET â€“ Jacob Jodoin knew he was in trouble.
He was plenty willing to work hard, but four years after graduating from the cityâ€™s technical high school, heâ€™d held nothing but a series of dead-end jobs.
Sometimes he worked 17 hours a day, alternating between prep cook and delivery boy at a pizza parlor. His boss wouldnâ€™t even pay him overtime.
â€śIt was killing me,â€ť says Jodoin, now 21. â€śI knew I had to do something.â€ť
They say the darkest hour is right before the dawn, and in Jodoinâ€™s case, it was literally true. Just as he was finishing up a pre-sunrise delivery shift at the pizza joint, he heard an ad on his car radio promoting a Providence-based organization called Year Up. They were reaching out to unemployed and underemployed high school graduates looking for a way to break into upwardly mobile, white-collar professions. His curiosity piqued, Jodoin went home, did some research, and within a few days he found himself in a face-to-face interview for a spot in Year Upâ€™s next class.
Full story appears on page A1 in Monday's Call and Monday's Times.