Kevin… A Second Chance at Success
If you were to ask 52 year-old Kevin how his life has changed in the year since he became employed at Nassau Community College he would tell you “I was lost and now I’m found”. For Kevin the opportunity to work has been the answer he was looking for. Frustrated by an inability to learn how to read, Kevin dropped out of high school. With little adult guidance, Kevin acknowledges that he continued making poor choices. He found the wrong friends and was unable to find meaningful work. Although he always worked, Kevin moved from odd job to odd job. He became involved with drugs and had some brushes with the law.
In 1991, during a period when he was incarcerated, Kevin’s life changed forever. While on a work program, a 1300 lb. tractor rode over his back. As a result he faced many physical challenges over the years. Kevin decided that he needed to make a better life for himself and it was up to him to do so. Kevin entered a recovery program and requested vocational services to learn a trade. He felt that having skills and the discipline of a job would help him stay focused on his recovery efforts, and help him develop a sense of self-worth and confidence he knew he was missing. Kevin moved into a sober house and in an effort to further challenge himself, became the manager of the facility.
Kevin then applied to ACCES-VR. His counselor, assessing his training and support needs referred him to TRI Business and Career Center. With ACCES-VR’s guidance Kevin decided to train in the Building Maintenance /Hospitality program at TRI. Kevin took on various projects in the community that involved working with seniors in need and individuals with disabilities. As a result, Kevin grew in his ability to communicate with customers and be a team leader.
When the time came for TRI to assemble the first team to work at a local community college Kevin was a natural choice. He advocated strongly for the chance to be part of a team that represented TRI and for the opportunity to hold himself accountable for all the promises he had made to himself. He has chosen to work so that he can give back to his family and be a contributing member of his community.
This story was submitted by Ella Craanen
Regional Workforce Development and Business Relations Coordinator
Garden City District Office