Recognizing that individuals released from incarceration have a 38% recidivism rate and lack of employment is the best predictor of re-incarceration, Goodwill designed New Beginnings – a six-month reentry program that helps individuals transition back into society.
Bryant Avant discovered New Beginnings in 2012 and took advantage of the program’s benefits to learn new skills, build a work history and earn professional credibility in his effort to seek higher-wage employment. Bryant worked with Jesamyn Sparks, Goodwill’s Placement Manager, who helped match him with jobs available outside of Goodwill upon graduation from New Beginnings.
“Jesamyn has a gift,” said Bryant. “She’s always been in my corner, encouraging and supporting me – I didn’t want to let her down”.
Jesamyn describes Bryant as hard-working and reliable.
“It took us time to find a position for Bryant that fit his unique talents and work ethic, but he was persistent and eventually rewarded for his patience,” she said.
Bryant has been with Catheter Research International (CRI) for two years, receiving three pay raises over that period, and was promoted to Supervisor of Janitorial and Facilities – a position created for him.
“Bryant is a very dedicated and driven team member who works to do his best and is continually looking to improve himself through learning,” said Elizabeth Stahl, VP People at CRI. “He has stepped up to fill a need in our facilities world, and I am very appreciative of his efforts. He is a model team member.”
Bryant is grateful for the opportunities afforded through Goodwill.
“I’d tell other young men and women to stay the course,” he said. “Goodwill helps you get back on track. Let the New Beginnings program work for you.”