Regularly scheduled class turned out to be a special occasion on Thursday afternoon when Bill Strickland stopped by to chat with NECAT students.
Strickland is the Founder of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, the author of Make the Impossible Possible and the inspiration behind NECAT. His models for adult job training and youth arts engagement have been successfully replicated throughout the country – and even the world, with a center in Akko, Israel.
Students were humbled by Bill’s commitment to “alleviating human suffering.” He has worked for more than fifty years to create programs, build centers and provide opportunities for people to overcome poverty and make better lives through training.
“What keeps me going are the stories that come out of centers like NECAT. And it’s YOU,” he said pointing to the audience of trainees. “My lesson is don’t look back; look forward. Don’t look down; look up.”
And forward is the direction Bill certainly continues to move in. He shared his plans of opening four more training centers in Pennsylvania, an upcoming meeting with Desmond Tutu, and launching a business with inmates growing strawberries and tomatoes at a Pittsburgh prison.
One NECAT student said, “I really appreciate you, giving this gift to us. You planted seeds in us, and we keep growing stronger.”