He has been named one of the best apprentices in France.
But threatened with expulsion from the country, young Albanian migrant Armando Curri was initially turned away from a ceremony at parliament’s upper house before organisers had a change of heart.
As a result he was allowed to attend the prize-giving at the Senate in Paris where he received a winner’s medal.
Curri had already persuaded those mentoring him to give him a chance as he took his first steps in carpentry.
“If you have the willpower and the courage…you can do anything,” he said.
“The boss saw that I had courage. That is why he hired me because I didn’t speak very good French.”
Now appealing against his expulsion order, Armando has been welcomed to one of France’s most important buildings – the Senate – with open arms.
“I looked at this case yesterday when I arrived and, after informing the administration at the Interior Ministry, I took the decision to receive this young man because he is a symbol of success and also because he is supported by his mentors and the label ‘France’s Best Worker’ represents certain values,” said French Senate President Gerard Larcher.
And the 19-year-old has been granted a three month temporary residency permit – enough to fuel more dreams for the future.
“I can see that there is gold everywhere,” Curri said, looking around the impressive Senate building.
“It’s completely beautiful. Its wonderful. I would like to do something like this myself, perhaps later.”