An unemployed trade school graduate in Texas who went viral for standing at a busy interaction passing out résumés and holding a sign with the hashtag #StriveForGreatness has finally landed a full-time job!
De’Andre Matthews, 21, graduated from the Houston School of Carpentry in February, but was struggling to find employment. “I applied to at least 30 jobs all over Houston,” Matthews told Yahoo Lifestyle. “Distance wasn’t a problem; I was willing to commute anywhere.”
After his grandmother passed away last week, Matthews decided to try a different approach to snag a job. Inspired by a local news story about a homeless man who stood on the street holding a sign that read “Hungry for Success” and passing out his résumé.
That’s when he decided to do the same thing.
Using the hashtag #StriveForGreatness, which he borrowed from a LeBron James campaign, Matthews wrote on a sign, “I am [an] electrical trade school grad with no job experience. Please take a resume and help this electrician apprentice out.”
Monday morning, Matthews headed to a busy intersection with his sign and 20 résumés. “It took a lot of courage,” he says. “I was scared, and my negative thoughts kept kicking in — I worried that I wrote too much on the sign and it would be hard to read, or that people would think I was asking for money.”
During the two-hour outing, Matthews handed out five résumés (and was gifted some water and a bottle of Sprite from trucker who spotted him standing in the scorching heat), but when the weather became unbearably hot, he headed home.
Soon after his phone started ringing. “My phone rang so much, it actually froze,” he says, telling Click2Houston that, thanks to his story going viral, in addition to Texas he received calls from, “Virginia, Baltimore, Boston, Louisiana, Alabama and there was one in Arizona.”
Meet De'Andre Matthews! He graduated in February from a local electrical trade school, but hasn't had any luck landing a job– so he got creative! pic.twitter.com/p5Z9byrrYG
— CW39Houston (@CW39Houston) September 18, 2018
The second driver to take Matthews’s résumé ended up being a woman from Houston whose father’s electrical service company had a job opening, so she offered Matthews an interview.
On Tuesday, he met with company personnel and was hired on the spot.
“I accepted the job because my employer seemed to appreciate my knowledge and cared about teaching me,” says Matthews. “That really spoke to me.”
THANK YOU GUYS SOO MUCH. I have a job now! I can’t believe it, my dreams are finally coming true after all the failures! I’m truly blessed to be in this amazing city. Houston is where amazing happens!
Posted by De'Andre Matthews on Tuesday, September 18, 2018