This blog is about what I have learned through my journey with helping people to live a better life through full time employment and taking responsibility for their lives instead of continuing the cycle of incarceration.
It has been over two years since I started this foundation. When I started it I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Sometimes I wished I could see into the future so I would have a better idea of what was needed and exactly what I was trying to do. I knew what I wanted to accomplish. I knew there were people who needed guidance, but I wasn’t always sure how I could help them. I wanted to know and I wanted to know right away so I could start helping as soon as possible. As time went on I began to realize that this is a long process and the answers can’t be found immediately. It takes time to discover what is needed and how to achieve it. Now, years later I feel like I have more answers but I still get very frustrated. I’ve found that I cannot do this on my own, that I need help from others and that together we can change a few lives. So many people have been in and out of my foundation over the years and I feel as though I have only helped a very few of them. But then again, I’m beginning to think that is the norm. A lot of people think they want help but not everyone wants to put the work into getting it. It’s a lot of effort not only on my part, but also on the part of every person who walks through my door looking for help. They have to understand, I cannot help you if you don’t want to help yourself. I’ve decided to share some of my experiences along with experiences of one of my participants in hope that it will inspire those who are looking for a real change in their lives to put that change before everything else. Although it isn’t easy, it is worth it. That is why I use the tagline “The Time to Change Is Now”. There will always be next week or next month or whatever excuse you can come up with, but there is no time like the present to make that change. In this blog I will be sharing a story of one of the individuals that I have been helping and I will also share some of his point of view on the story. I will continue to update this story in real time as it is happening and will also share some other perspectives of other participants.
When I first decided to hire previously incarcerated individuals I met a man who came to me because he was on probation. I asked him if he could pass a drug test and his answer was no but if I gave him one month he would pass it and come work for me. I said okay and didn’t give him another thought, he wasn’t calling me back. Sure enough, a month later he called me and said he would pass now and could he come in and try working. I gave him a 10 hour OSHA class to take before I let him come in, I wanted to see if he would complete this class and really take things seriously. He completed it rather quickly and was ready to work. Of course at the time, I thought this was a slam dunk, this kid wanted to work and already did everything I asked of him and he must really want to change, right? He started working and I was impressed, he learned quickly, he was so easy to get along with and to teach, I really was proud of myself, this is what I wanted to do and I was doing it. However things started to get a little off track and I realized that I had no idea what was coming and how I was ever going to fix this kid?
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