Written By: Rhabia Cowell
Marvin came home wanting to start anew. Finding employment was one of his top priorities, but like many criminal-justice involved job–seekers, he realized that there would be significant obstacles. Nevertheless, he pressed on and signed up with a few different workforce development programs in the city. However, after several months of searching, he was still unable to find work. His inability to land employment left Marvin frustrated and disappointed and when his probation officer suggested that he check out the UPNEXT Fatherhood and Workforce Development initiative, he wasn’t quite sure what to but he remained optimistic and was determined to work hard.
Thus, Marvin enrolled in the 6-week cycle of UPNEXT where he sharpened his interviewing and job readiness skills, learned parental engagement tools and received financial wellness services. He says that he appreciated the small class size and the individualized attention he got from the staff but most of all, he appreciated that in addition to helping him find a job, the program also helped him grow as a father. Re-engaging with his son was one of his other top priorities and UPNEXT was helpful in restoring the bond between father and son.
While in the program, Marvin was also able to address his mounting child support obligations. With the help of the Fatherhood Specialist, he was able to gain a better understanding of his debts and learn how to apply for a downward modification. Marvin admits that while going to multiple appointments at the Office of Child Support was a little aggravating, he acknowledges that it was an important step that he needed to take and he feels confident that things will work out for the best.
As UPNEXT celebrates the end of one cycle and prepares to begin another, we would like to congratulate Marvin on his success. He is beginning a new job with one of our community partners and is looking forward to his future!