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Success Story: Jeffery 

When Jeffery was released from prison, his mind was made up: he would live a simple, honest life. This would be a significant adjustment from his prior lifestyle. Before incarceration, Jeffery enjoyed the high life: he made six figures … he traveled the world. All of that changed overnight. He went from “having it all” to having nothing.

When Jeffery was paroled in April of this year, he was starting over completely. “I needed clothing, identification, employment, housing, you name it … I was facing it,” Jeffery said.

Jeffery was referred to Goodwill’s Offender Success (OS) program and received employment skills training, assistance with his résumé, job search techniques, interview coaching, help with job applications, and more.

Case Manager Josh Keur was impressed by Jeffery’s strong drive. “Jeffery realized that he would need to take what job he could get considering his background,” Keur said. “He set realistic goals and immediately began working to accomplish them.”

His hard work paid off and he landed a job as a sandblaster with Monarch Powder Coating & Sandblasting Services in Muskegon.

Although his new job is completely different from the work and lifestyle he was used to, he enjoys his work. “I like that the job is fast paced and the people here treat you like family,” he said. Jeffery hasn’t missed a day of work and has accepted every overtime hour available. When asked about his job performance, Monarch Powder Coating owner Steve Johnson said, “I will take ten more employees just like Jeff Jennings!”

Jeffery attributes much of his success to the Offender Success program. “I’m not sure where I would be without Goodwill and Offender Success,” he said. “The case managers truly care about your success and the program sets you up to succeed; you simply need to apply yourself.”

Jeffrey is a prime example of what can happen when a person is dedicated to change. He gives this advice to anyone who needs to reinvent themselves: “Keep pushing! You will get out of this what you put into it. I am living proof.”

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