Samuel: Reentry

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Life throws us many challenges, and at times these challenges may seem hard to overcome.  By working hard and having the right mindset, a dream of success can become a reality.  If you want a powerful success story look no further than Samuel. When Sam first found out about WISR he reported that he felt skeptical of what the program could do for him.  He knew that he had to better himself for his 9-year-old daughter and avoid becoming a statistic.

Currently 33 years old, Sam was born in Ghana.  Growing up, family was the most important thing to him.  When he moved to the States his family moved many times, which never allowed Sam time to make friends.  Due to the instability of his living situation he felt a strong need to fit in.  He would sit at the lunch table every day alone just wanting someone to talk to.  He reported that in his effort to fit in, he began to sell cocaine to try and be a resource for others.  He quickly realized, however, that he was becoming a negative influence on his community. 

Sam was incarcerated for  two years, and while inside, he learned about the Worcester Initiative for Supported Reentry (WISR) project.  At first, he was skeptical that the program could help him, yet he decided to take a chance knowing that he wanted a better life for himself and his nine year-old daughter. 

Upon his release, Sam went to live with his mother and said that, through it all, his mother has been his biggest support.  He started working with his case manager at WISR and was impressed with how much WISR could help him.  He found employment with Eagle Leasing in Southborough, Massachusetts.  He is currently working on finding his own apartment and obtaining his driver’s license; the latter of which will happen in December of this year.

When asked how he has stayed focused and avoided setbacks he said, “I can’t get stuck, I have to move forward and be better for myself and my kids.  No one is going to do it for me, I have to do it for myself.”  He reports that he takes his life one day at a time.  It has helped him to always move forward.   His current goal is go back to school and get his degree so that he can enter the Human Services field as a case manager.  He says that his WISR case manager has been an inspiration and a role model to him, and because of her effort, he has found his way of fitting in and giving back to others who may have gone through what he went through.  He also has sole custody of his daughter as of August 8th, 2014.  He says that taking life one day at a time has helped him to be a better father, and he will keep learning and keep being there for his daughter.

Sam says that without WISR, he is unsure of where he would be today, and is grateful that he took the chance and joined the program.  We wish him the best of luck in his continued endeavors.