News 12 at 11, January 20, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga. --- 26 men are on their way to getting out of prison, finding jobs, and making a better life. It's a chance for a fresh start back into society.
"From this point forward is the new life we're going for. So I never ask what did they do to be incarcerated, I never ask how much time do they have because I just want to meet them where they are and so it's just awesome to see," BASICS Instructor, Rev. Brendolyn Jenkins said.
26 men graduated from the BASICS World of Work Program, that focuses on business and work skills. An intensive ten weeks of training for the men, that will assist them with career development, budgeting, personal growth, goal setting, and motivation. The program is also designed to help find jobs and educational opportunities. The men are all being held at either the Augusta Diversion Center or the Transitional Center.
Instructors like Rev. Jenkins, are excited about the program. They said it's life transforming. The best part for them is seeing the men graduate.
"Many of whom never graduated from anything. Many who were told they could not learn and were not able. And they grasp the information and have homework to do," Rev. Jenkins said.
Out of the ten weeks of training, Rev. Jenkins said one lesson stands out the most.
"That they are somebody. Regardless of mistakes. And that as a person of faith...myself, them being incarcerated is exactly where the creator would have them be at this time in His creation plan."
And she hopes her lessons will stay with these men and help them proceed with their lives.
"To go to different playgrounds with different playmates and with different skills and toolsets that will prepare them for the world outside the wall," Rev. Jenkins said.