Shriver Job Corps Center

Refugee to Valedictorian to professional employee

January 8th, 2021

KLER HTOO – 2017 Shriver Job Corps Valedictorian

Originally from Burma, Kler was a refugee at 12 years old completing at only a 2nd grade level.  Not able to speak English, Kler was challenged additionally as he was placed in the 7th grade once he settled in the United States because of his age.  Due to the language barrier, Kler struggled to pass the MCAS testing causing him to drop out of school by Senior year.  His counselor told him about Job Corps and he reluctantly applied still  nervous about his English.  He arrived at Shriver Job Corps, Devens, MA in January of 2016 and developed some courage to get comfortable with staff and students who helped him with the language issue.  He applied himself thoroughly to finalize his education for a High School diploma as well as the completion of the Cement trade for his training.  Kler was chosen as Valedictorian for the October, 2017 graduation.  In his speech he stated, “without Shriver, my life would be terrible”.  After graduation, he was offered a job at a nearby company called Ideal Concrete Block.  He has had a great opportunity and experience working there now over two years.  Recently a staff member spoke to Ideal to learn how well he has done, how respected he is and most importantly, how comfortable and happy he is!