While Perry Wellness Center is a vital part of the recovery journey for numerous individuals throughout the area, it is not the final destination. The center seeks to provide a foundation for peers to achieve personal growth in their homes, communities, and future jobs, whenever possible.
One young peer who is setting his sights high is Jantwan Twiggs. A 2014 graduate of Americus-Sumter County High School, Jantwan is in his first year of study at South Georgia Technical College, where he is studying welding.
“I have always enjoyed creative construction, and many shared my possible success in welding,” Jantwan explains. “We have a top school here in Americus, and I decided to attend. It will be a good trade to learn and may lead me to other challenges in education.”
In his introductory quarter in the welding program, Jantwan says that he learned how to “lay a bead,” weld a T-joint, and safely cut metal, among other skills. “I was happy with the reception I received at South Georgia Tech,” he notes. “My instructors were ‘hands-on’ and showed me the safe and quick way to do my assignments. I made two A’s and one B and earned a 3.6 GPA.” He smiles in recollection as he relays this information.
Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO Stuart Perry is also smiling. “When Jantwan told me his first quarter grades in welding, I was quite pleased,” he says. “I am looking for a way to use his talents in the coming expansion of our campus.”
As someone who made his own journey to recovery from mental illness, Stuart knows the stigma that can surround the disease in both school and workplace. But that is changing.
“It is very important that we share recovery and other personal successes at Perry Wellness Center,” Stuart explains with another smile. Like a proud papa, he is happy to see peers take their own steps toward normal life in the community.
In the photo above, Jantwan Twiggs poses for a photo with a smile, after sharing his first quarter grades at South Georgia Technical College.