Calvin Dean

Everett Dean has always been proud of his dad, Calvin. In second grade, when his classmates brought pets, toys, and new clothes to show-and-tell, Everett brHeadshot of Calvin Deanought his dad because “I wanted to be like him when I grew up. He introduced himself and told his story and stayed at school the whole day. But on the way home he said to me, ‘I don’t want you to be like me when you grow up. I want you to be better than me.’ At the time I didn’t get it, but it resonated later on in life.”

Calvin Dean came from a two parent home and a family full of love, celebration, and joy. At age 9, he became a paper boy because his family could only afford the necessities. “My parents did all they did to keep me on the right track but somewhere along the way I got on the wrong train,” says Calvin. In his teenage years, he fell in with the wrong crowd and went to jail for the first time at age 18. “The streets were digging claws deeper and deeper into me,” Calvin says. In 2000, he went to jail for nine years. “For 30 years I cheated death,” says Calvin. “I was in a lot of altercations and many of my childhood friends are no longer here.”

Upon release from prison, Calvin knew one thing for sure – he would not go back Calvin came to NLEN and joined U-Turn Permitted in 2011 with the resolve to find permanent employment and create a better life for his family. After graduating, Calvin was hired at Jakacki Bag & Barrel where he has worked for six years. After two years at Jakacki, he was promoted to Foreman. “With a background like mine, you’re lucky to get a job,” says Calvin. “If I’d stayed on the right track, I’d be retired by now. I realize it’s not about how much money I make – it’s what I do with the money I make. U-Turn Permitted is not just about getting a job. That’s the main focus. But it also teaches being responsible, being helpful, how to figure things out rather than getting mad and giving up.”

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