“I once was called inmate 256193 of the Connecticut State prison system. While incarcerated, I earned my GED and helped others obtain theirs. After I was released from prison, I found myself needing to review and evaluate my education in the job industry. I heard about STRIVE and I called to make an appointment to find out how I could get into this program. I learned so much about myself and what it would take for me to be successful. With the help of Ms. Cynthia, Ms. Gill, Mr. Lawrence, Mike Stokes, Mr. Malik and other staff members of Career Resources. I graduated from STRIVE with a certificate and received several Environmental Certificates in Asbestos, Hazwoper, Lead RRP OSHA, Deconstruction and received a Lead Supervisor’s License.
On June 22, 2011, I received The Outstanding Student Award from The WorkPlace, Inc., at the Bridgeport Cabaret Theater. I also have my training as a License Certified Nurse’s Aide. In the future, I am planning to attend Nursing School to receive my License Practical Nurses training.
There are times in my life that I may feel lonely but I know that I am not alone as long as I have faith in Jesus Christ and believe in myself. I now know that I can use STRIVE as a tool to achieve my ultimate goal. We all have a story of failure or success but I am determined to work to get a positive outcome. Do not give up and do not let anyone tell you anything different to make you go astray. As my inspiration, I use Proverb 16:9: In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
P.S. I am no longer regarded as inmate 256193. My name is John Cooper and I am a STRIVE graduate and a member of the STRIVE networking family.”