Vincent Franklin

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Vincent with NLEN Executive Director Brenda Palms Barber receiving a Creating a Community that Works Award at the Ninth Annual Sweet Beginnings Tea

“Something stuck out about U-Turn Permitted and helped me overcome my fear of failing,” explains Vincent. “I knew I had to do something to stay out of trouble,” but it was not until he found NLEN that he knew he was ready. He had just returned home after years in and out of prison and had a granddaughter on the way. He had tried other programs, but it was U-Turn Permitted that made him feel like he could succeed.

After completing the four-week U-Turn Permitted program, Vincent interviewed and secured a 90-day transitional job with Sweet Beginnings. “I believed it was the right place for me at the time and that the transitional job would lead me to a better future.” He was right about that. After Sweet Beginnings, he decided to enroll in NLEN’s vocational training program, the Urban Weatherization Initiative. There he became BPI-certified. He says, “I must have impressed my instructor with my eagerness to learn and my efforts to help other students,” because today, less than two years after returning from prison, Vincent works for the company that trained him, Utilivate Technologies. While his daily responsibilities include preparing the site and materials for classes, Vincent has found his calling in helping students. “I help them learn techniques when they are not following along with the instructor.”

Also a volunteer at his church, Vincent works with youth, sharing his own lessons learned before they get into trouble. He explains, “I took from society, so I feel I need to give back. Finally I woke up and believed in myself.”

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