My name is Paris Hilliard. I’m 24 years old, and I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life. Growing up, my family taught me the importance of responsibility, integrity, and hard work. I first learned about CEC from a great friend of mine, Cornelius Turnipseed, who completed the program successfully. I’m very grateful that CEC has given me the opportunity to better myself and my career. CEC was able to connect me with an outstanding program with Walsh construction, which has given me lots of tools to succeed in my career. My construction journey has been awesome! Through the program, I’ve learned a lot about both the office and field aspects of construction. And after shadowing workers in different trades, I was able to narrow my interest down to carpentry. Carpentry caught my attention because carpenters have multiple jobs. They do everything – framing, drywall, window installation, and much more! I knew this area would improve my skills as a person and keep me working hard. When I completed the program at Walsh, I was hired as a carpenter with IDI (International Decorators Inc.). I’m currently working at the old Cook County Hospital as a framer and drywall hanger, and I love it! It’s definitely keeping me busy, and I’m learning so much! Thank you, CEC for the amazing opportunity. When I’m not working, I like to work out. I take my health very seriously. The thing I enjoy most about the summer is being outdoors – hiking, exploring, taking trips, and more.