CLEVELAND – It’s a second chance and a fresh start. Men who have made poor decisions and are looking to turn their lives around find themselves back in the classroom.
The Pathway to Resilience is a program from the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland that provides workforce development to teens who did not attend college. It launched in 2016 as a three-year pilot program for at-risk young adults to have meaningful employment.
Zishoun Melvin was locked up for two years after some run ins with the law but now he wants to have a fresh start on life.
“I’m from the projects. That’s all I knew. Hanging with my dudes, and doing unnecessary stuff,” Melvin said.
The program gives men like Melvin the resources to obtain an education despite any criminal background or poor choices growing up.
A classroom full of men 18 to 24 years old gather five days a week to learn life skills and money management.
Ambus Shephard graduated from juvenile lock up and then eventually went to jail. His motivation comes from his four children. He wants to give them what he never had.
“A daddy. I didn’t have my dad,” said Shephard.
Shephard, along with his fellow classmates, will graduate from the six-month program and will be eligible to be hired by the creators of the program.