Alternate Routes

Not everyone takes the same path to success.

With more than 800,000 public high school students in Florida, it’s obvious not all will know what they want to do in life, and not all will take the traditional route to college and a career. The good news is you can take advantage of Florida’s career and workforce resources to find a future path that suits you.

Read on to find out how one young person did just that.

Building houses, making connectionsvolunteering

At 19, Daquan Clifford left his dilapidated, crime-ridden apartment complex in Orlando,
“taking a chance, hoping for a better life.”

He had dropped out of Victory Prep Christian
Academy his senior year. “I was living in a rough neighborhood,” he says. “I was involved with the wrong type of company, making bad decisions and just out of control.”

Daquan moved to Ocala, where a cousin told him about CareerSource Florida, an agency that could help him get classroom training, skills and a job, while paying for his high school diploma. “I wasn’t going to pass that up,” he says.

Through CareerSource Florida’s Citrus, Levy and Marion office, Daquan became part of Phoenix Rising Youth Build, a program in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and other community and service organizations. He helped build homes for low-income families, gained people skills, became more disciplined and a much better communicator. “This program also taught me that helping others gives you joy,” he says. The program helps you “make your day complete by contributing to the community.” Daquan earned his high school diploma and numerous certifications including one from the Home Builders Institute.

Phoenix Rising also helped Daquan make connections. After graduating from the 20-week program in August 2014, he became a paid intern with CareerSource Florida through Americorps, helping young people in the program that helped turn his own life around.

Now 21, Daquan plans to attend the College of Central Florida and major in business management. He says Career Source Citrus Levy Marion and its other teams around the state can “help you get to where you want to be.”

“But they can’t do all the work for you,” he says. “You have to put in work yourself for you to be successful.”


Heading into the workforce but not sure which path is right for you?

Maybe you have dealt with challenges, such as a juvenile record, homelessness or not completing high school.

CareerSource Florida’s statewide network can help you chart a course for a successful career.

Let them help you find the right education or certification program, assist you with resume writing, interviewing and job placement.

Find your local team and get on the right path at