Reclaiming Ones' Humanity: Wayne Pointer

Wayne Pointer is a recent STRIVE graduate in the Next Step Program, and was this year's featured participant speaker at the 2018 Next Step Breakfast! Originally from nearby Lanham, Maryland, Wayne had a solid middle-class childhood, but as a young adult he started using illegal drugs. That decision led him to more addictive drugs, and eventually to selling drugs to support his addiction. After moving out of the area with his girlfriend and having children, Wayne was arrested for selling drugs and sentenced to a year in prison. Upon release Wayne decided to start life anew in DC.

While having a criminal record was challenging, addiction and being imprisoned had taken a toll on Wayne's self-confidence and ability to successful engage with other people. These were working together to prevent any sustainable employment. Wayne knew he couldn't succeed on his own. While walking in his neighborhood, Wayne walked past the Skyland Workforce Center (SMGW's STRIVE office) in Southeast, DC. One day he decided to go in. He was introduced to our Next Step Program and, mostly importantly for Wayne, the STRIVE job readiness training, which he joined!

The STRIVE training provided the support that Wayne needed. The positive, can-do attitudes taught in the STRIVE training as well as the "stand and deliver" honesty about what actions brought trainees to this point in their lives, were turning points for Wayne. Change now was possible, and was what Wayne needed to move out of his mindset and reclaim to the potential he had and the confidence he felt before using drugs and becoming incarcerated.

Wayne graduated from the STRIVE training in December 2017 and is currently employed full-time installing fire-suppression equipment. He also has a vision (getting into real estate) and plan for a better future for himself and his family.