Voices From the Lab: The Comeback Kid

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Darryl began his digital education when he entered Bethel’s Place Job Assistance Program, which was created to assist unemployed with job searches, resume building and interviews. Because Darryl is an ex-convict, he knew he needed all the hiring help he could get. Darryl also quickly realized he would need computer skills to market himself—however, he’d never used a computer.

Within the prison system, recidivism means relapsing into criminal behavior within three years after release. Studies show a relationship between recidivism and employment, yet the employment rate and job wages are dangerously low for ex-convicts. In Texas, the average ex-convict income is below the poverty line. Further, only 40% of employers are willing to hire ex-convicts, according to the Urban Institute. “He was desperately seeking a job, but with his past many employers were not interested in hiring him,” Technology For All Program Specialist Matt says.

Darryl, however, is devoted to changing his life. When the Job Assistance Program helped him build a resume in the computer lab, he saw how much he needed computer literacy. Instead of accepting defeat, he took Technology For All’s computer basics course with Program Specialist Matt. As he began bettering himself, he found more confidence in his job search—and more results. Within three weeks, he had already found a job with a moving company. “With his new job, he is able to begin a new journey in life,” Matt says. “He is able to travel, pay bills, have an apartment, establish credit and volunteer at his church.” When he isn’t working, Darryl still visits the lab to better his new computer skills.

Bethel’s Place is a nonprofit organization supporting financial literacy, adult education and other community needs in southwest Houston, Texas. For more information, call (713) 728-4445 or visit at 12525 Fondren Rd.

Source: Technology For All

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