A Second Chance Was All He Needed

Sometimes all we need in life is a second chance.  Johnston County Industries (JCI) Behavioral Health and Community-Based Services recently helped Ahmad with a second chance. At JCI, Ahmad was assisted by the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) team. These services assisted him in obtaining and maintaining employment at Keener Lumber as a lumber puller.

Keener was in need of employees to work for a few days a week.  Ahmad indicated this work schedule was a good fit for him, as he was interested in finishing Barber College.

John Jones, IPS Employment Specialist, coordinated job development opportunities for Ahmad with Keener Lumber.

JCI staff provided Ahmad with both job coaching for teaching him how to focus while in the workplace and guidance with anger management. He participated in mock interviews before being interviewed to prepare to discuss his criminal background and to provide details about his strengths as a potential employee.

“Ahmad was a model participant, as evidenced by the ups and downs he went through while participating in the program. He learned to rely on people for support and resources, as well as himself,” Jones said.

(Left to right) Ahmad stands with his Individual Placement and Support Team Specialist John Jones. Contributed photo

Ahmad was able to maintain employment at Keener while finishing his Barber Certificate through Harris Barber College. He graduated in March and is currently studying for the June barber exam. Ahmad’s goal is to one day own a barbershop.

“I want to be an entrepreneur, so I will be able to provide security and cash flow for my family. Life is tough, but you have to keep trying. Without JCI and John’s help, I would probably be in the same place I was before being sent here. John would visit me at my house to check up on me, and he was always there if I needed to talk” said Ahmad.

John and others at JCI encouraged Ahmad to work towards his goal and continued to assist him in ensuring he had the resources and support to succeed while continuing his recovery. Ahmad learned to communicate his needs and is prepared to make better choices to lead to a better life empowering him to overcome barriers and be successful.

JCI also assisted Ahmad with resources and support from the Johnston County Mental Health Center and referrals to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous support groups as a recovery pathway.

“I recommend JCI to anyone who needs assistance,” Ahmad said. “If you want to make something out of yourself, JCI can help you to deal with your problems. I thank these people for what they have done for me.”