After struggling with drugs and spending time in jail, Jayson found a United Waysupported program that helped give him the skills and opportunities to build a new life.
Today, Jayson is a high-school graduate, a student at Mohawk College and an involved father. “Things are just amazing,” he says, but not long ago, his situation was much different. He was a drop out with a drug problem. He was serving jail time and he was an absent father.
Then he discovered a community program that helps at-risk youth learn construction trades and life skills with the support of the United Way. Luckily, Jayson recognized the opportunity. “I wasn’t happy,” he admits. “I wanted to get on track. I wanted to see my daughter.
After I came to the program, step by step, everything came together.” With support from his mother and brothers, Jayson committed himself to building a new life and the more he put in, the more he got out. The instructors, he says, “saw a lot of potential in me.”
Jayson now works with the program as part of the staff team while he prepares for another year of college. His supervisor sees Jayson as being one of the program’s typical success stories.
“Most of these kids,” he says, “have never heard positive feedback. They’ve never been told they’ve done a good job or that someone is proud of them, but here they come in with their head down and they leave with their head up.”
That’s what happened with Jayson. “I’m loving it,” says Jayson of his work. “Things are falling into place for me and I couldn’t be more thankful.”
During a recent bypass operation, Luan’s heart stopped due to complications and she died on the operating table. At 83, this was just one of many surgeries and many close calls Luan has had over the years.