‘Chances make champions’ Toledo career training program expands its community reach

The Wellness Opportunity Outreach Center offers all kinds of life and job skills classes.
The Wellness Opportunity Outreach Center offers all kinds of life and job skills classes.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 6:27 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Career training is a critical part of helping people rise above some of the challenges they may face. There’s a place in Toledo focused on doing just that. It’s called the Wellness Opportunity Outreach, or WOO Center.

The center offers all kinds of classes to help make life better for people on a lot of levels and the reach of those classes is about to expand. The center started as a place for career training for children and adults with mental health challenges and developmental disabilities but the programs are now expanding to include the entire community.

Leah Pierson is the Director of Operations.

“We are encouraging everyone to take our classes, especially those in under-served communities,” Pierson said. “We offer specialized training programs that help give people skills that can help them get into the workforce, get better jobs and have a more fulfilled life.”

Pierson said there will be a wide variety of courses, teaching everything from life skills to job skills.

“Everything from health and wellness courses to computer animation, broadcast journalism, entrepreneurship and business accounting. We’ll also have a grant writing class. There are a lot of classes,” Pierson said.

Brandie Preston is the CEO and founder of The WOO Center. She said her focus is to build up the community she loves, and still calls home.

“With the proper training and the proper skills you are limitless in opportunities,” Preston said. “We do that here at the WOO Center. We help bring out your full potential and unlock the keys to your success.”

Brandie says she graduated from Rogers High School when she was 16, had her college degree by the age of 19 and a master’s degree by 21. She loves reaching back to help others achieve their goals.

“Chances make champions. I am one of them. We are changing lives daily,” Preston said.

Changes that Pierson says benefit our entire city.

“The more self-sufficient and independent people in the community doing what they are passionate about, the more the community thrives,” Pierson said.

The center is near Nebraska and Byrne on Cuthbert. There’s an open house Friday Jan. 27 from 5-7. Classes start March 1st. There are small fees for the classes and there are scholarships available. There are also opportunities to volunteer or do an internship at the center.

If you’d like to learn more, click here.

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