Looking back on 10 years of GO’s work in Asheville…by the numbers


In recognition of both our 10th anniversary and the end of 2018, we’re happy to share with our community a new infographic that showcases the cumulative job training work Green Opportunities has done since our founding, as well as some of the highlights from this calendar year. View or download a PDF of our 10th Anniversary Infographic.


Founded in 2008 by Dan Leroy and DeWayne Barton, in our first 10 years, GO has graduated over 600 youth and adults from our training programs, helped job seekers find work with 300+ local employers, and raised over $2.4 million in revenue for our training programs via social enterprise. See more GO stats here. Interested in what inspired the founding of GO? Watch our latest StoryShare video featuring our founders, Dan and DeWayne.


This year alone, our Southside Kitchen Catering enterprise served over 40,000 wholesome meals via our community kitchen and contracts with the YMCA Summer Meals and United Way Homework Diner programs. Eight of our YouthBuild students earned their High School Equivalency diploma, while our third YouthBuild cohort renovated a historic church in Asheville’s Shiloh neighborhood. At our recent graduation ceremony, we recognized 97 individuals who made significant personal and professional strides during the past year, whether by completing our culinary and construction training programs, earning certifications, or attaining and maintaining employment.


While numbers are effective at highlighting the big impact our work makes, numbers alone can’t capture the stories of the students we serve. We have many success stories to celebrate this year, but here are a few highlights of students who partipated in our Kitchen Ready, Youth Corps, and YouthBuild programs, respectively.


Shana came to GO’s culinary training program with nine years’ experience in desserts and pastries and an entrepreneurial spirit. She wished to increase her knowledge of a full range menu items and learn more about operating a business. At GO, she earned her ServSafe® certification and received assistance applying and paying for her business license. Shana is now running her own business, AVL Cake Lady, full-time, and recently signed a lease for a commercial space for her future bakery.


Sarawila is a young college-bound single mother who has persevered through seemingly insurmountable obstacles. While participating in GO’s Youth Corps program for out-of-school youth, Sarawila completed her GED, enrolled in Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Associate of Arts program, and began applying for scholarships. She recently earned a minority scholarship.



A young father of two, Eddie had only limited work experience when he enrolled in GO’s YouthBuild program. Through YouthBuild, Eddie participated in an Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity home-build and a paid welding apprenticeship. He also earned his OSHA card, CPR/First-Aid certification, and HBI Pre-Apprenticeship certificate in carpentry. Eddie is now a full-time sanitation worker for the City of Asheville public works department.


With your backing this year and throughout the past decade, GO has prepared hundreds of job seekers for sustainable employment opportunities and advanced our goal of building a stronger, more inclusive local workforce and community. This work is possible because of the incredible contributions of time, money, and talent made by countless individuals, including our students, volunteers, partners, employers, and donors.


Your tax deductible year-end donation will help us continue to build a just, inclusive economy in Asheville as we support and prepare motivated job seekers from across our community for sustainable employment pathways.


Thank you to everyone who has already made a year-end contribution. We look forward to continuing to work with you all in 2019!