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Edward Robertson

Edward Robertson wanted his independence and the ability to provide for his family when his father passed away. At 19 years old, Edward decided that attending high school was interfering with his plans and he dropped out during his junior year.

“I wanted my independence… nothing caused me to do it but my own decisions,” said Edward. “We didn’t have enough income and that drove me even more wanting to help out.”

Watching his mother work tirelessly long hours as a nurse and still could not sustain the monthly financial responsibilities, Edward attended Gary Job Corp in San Marcos, TX, earned GED and a vocational certificate in building maintenance and dry wall painting.

As a young adult, Edward’s use of drugs became excessive and he sought the help of Open Door Missions and joined the Substance Abuse men’s group. Upon exiting the program, Edward promised himself that he would continue his journey of sobriety and his walk with Christ. Edward worked many odd jobs just to withstand, but the projects weren’t consistent and his earnings often fluctuated.

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By the time Edward was 49 years old, he had maintained a full-time general construction position and remained disciplined in his religion, but his sobriety was questioning.

Years after leaving the Open Door Missions sobriety program, Edward tested positive once again during a drug test at work which resulted in the loss of his job and him seeking counseling yet again.

“I believed in a lie,” said Edward. “By me having [a medical condition]… [I was informed that] smoking marijuana would be good for me. [That was] a lie. I [lost my] job and had to work as a contractor. The day labor wasn’t affording me enough money to pay bills and stay on top”.

“I checked in to a place where I could totally remove [marijuana] from the situation…the Open Door Missions’ program,” said Edward.  “I smoked excessively day and night to the point where I became bankrupt and couldn’t shake it. I had to get fed the word of God.”

“I was disappointed in myself. It’s not called for a 50 year old male to repeat so many things in life that [he] already accomplished in life, [then to lose it] and start over,” said Edward.

With Edward’s experience working in the kitchen at Open Door Mission and at local restaurants, he was referred to SER’s newest hospitality training program where he received hands-on training and hospitality experience working for several renowned hotels in Houston.

“It’s [wasn’t] a lengthy [course]… it was flexible. You can’t beat [having] knowledgeable people in the industry [teaching you what you need to know about] the field,” said Edward. “Ricky Davis, SER’s Workforce Development Lead, and Jonathon Price, SER’s hospitality training instructor, had a great sense of humor and we had fun learning.”

Edward interviewed with several Hotels after graduating from hospitality training program, but in the end, decided the best path for him was to accept a banquet houseman position with the Marriott Marquis September 2017.

“Who wouldn’t want to be a part of the best? This lets me know that I am really reaching the goals that I expected of myself. It feels like I am starting at the top and not the bottom. It’s an excellent feeling,” said Edward.

“In 2 weeks I will be turning 50 years old. I want to be married…to start a family and fulfill the word of God and his purpose in my life.”

“I want to remain independent and live a clean, sober, normal life. I want to go to work, pay my bills, and be a good citizen. I don’t have a bad record or reputation. I am a down to earth person, who just struggled a little bit,” said Edward.

“As the saying goes ‘if you know better you’ll do better’…I have always known better, but I just slacked off on doing better sometimes. I am just more disappointed that it took me so long to reach my goals. I don’t desire those things anymore.”