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— Reaching into his folder, he pulls out a sheet describing a school counselor position and the required background. "I even want to be a teacher! When I did a career profile, they said because of my 18-years-plus working with the Navy I was qualified for this. I worked at San Diego High School temporarily as a career counselor/financial-aid person. I looked for college scholarships and helped kids get into college, and we had the best year San Diego High ever had. That was from May 2000 to May 2001. I got more kids accepted into college with financial aid with more success than they had ever seen. And with the state program I'm going through, all I need is a certificate. Here's my application for my certificate. Once I do my training and get my 360 hours, I'm in. I'm ready, and I've done my research."

The folders and checklists Davis carries make him hopeful that he won't be out of work for long. "I don't want to fall back on the 'I'm a 52-year-old black male who finds it difficult to get a position in the youngsters' market."

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