The day Kevin was sentenced to 15 years in prison, he realized he needed to make a change so he wouldn’t spend the rest of his life in the prison system. He dedicated himself to this new perspective and sought ways to use his time productively; it was while incarcerated that Kevin discovered his passion and talent for leather-working. He became so skilled at his trade that his work was featured in a nationallypublicized magazine. Finally, Kevin felt he had a plan and a direction for his future.
Upon release, Kevin was living in a halfway house, with little support and looking for work. He was directed to Goodwill so that he could partner with a Case Manager. He participated in multiple careeradvancement trainings which led to a position as a Forklift Driver at the Goodwill Distribution Center. Kevin was thankful for the opportunity but knew he needed to continue his trajectory to pursue his dream career in leather-working. It was about this time that his mentor from another Goodwill program completed a Certified Driver’s License (CDL) Training at the Goodwill Career & Technical Academy (GCTA), and encouraged Kevin to do the same. Kevin decided to go for it, and quickly completed the training, securing a position as a truck driver with Austin Wood Recycling. His new job has long hours and takes him all over Texas but Kevin says he doesn’t mind, in fact he enjoys the challenge of the job and appreciates the sense of purpose it provides.
Kevin gives credit to his Case Manager with empowering him to get this far, “…anytime I need to talk, she makes time for me right away…if I’m having trouble figuring out next steps, she helps me find the resources that I need.” Kevin still plans to open a leather-working shop one day. After meeting with a Goodwill Financial Literacy Trainer, he was able to obtain his first credit card and begin establishing credit, working towards buying his own home. His goal is to have a leather-working workshop at his house, where he can continue his craft, and create beautiful works of art that bring joy to others.
“Goodwill…opens doors for you. I never realized what Goodwill could do for you!