Johnny Cowan II
Before coming to Hope Inspired Ministries, Johnny says his life was going in circles. It was difficult for him to find a consistent job, and he felt very limited in his ability to move forward. He was beginning to lose hope.
One day, as Johnny was going to the grocery store, he ran into our Career Coach, Darius. Darius has a unique perspective on the program, as he was once a H.I.M. student before becoming an instructor. Darius and Johnny discussed the program and how it had helped Darius in his own life. Johnny came to our office and says he was instantly welcomed into a friendly atmosphere of love and joy. He knew right away that he wanted everything Hope Inspired Ministries had to offer.
Because of H.I.M., Johnny feels that he is ready for any interview that comes his way. He is working on his character and has grown in soft skills. His outlook on life is brighter because of the tools he learned through the program, and he has also recommitted his life to the Lord.
He says, “One of the main things I learned at Hope Inspired Ministries was that no matter the task at hand, anything requires persistence. Jobs are no different.”
Johnny will be completing an internship with Grace Klein Community, and he is excited to share all that he has learned at H.I.M. with everyone he meets.
Before Hope Inspired Ministries, Joyce was working fast food jobs, where she never felt joy and didn’t have a real interest. She never understood that work could feel meaningful and be something you should look forward to doing everyday.
One day, Joyce attended a second chance job fair, where she received a brochure about Hope Inspired Ministries. The information intrigued her, so she called our office number. After several phone calls with Darius, Joyce made up her mind that she would attend this program. She even nicknamed Darius “Brother Persistent,” as she received so many phone calls from him.
She says if it weren’t for Darius’ persistence, however, she would not have started the program and be where she is today. Joyce is now employed with Buffalo Rock and truly enjoys her job. Joyce recalled the moment she was offered the job, saying, “Have you ever seen anyone cry because they got hired? Well, that was me!” We are so proud of Joyce and her accomplishments!
Antoinette says that while her spirit was longing for a change, she was not ready to give up or surrender some of her earthly ways. However, one day, she received a call from Darius asking if she would be interested in attending our program.
She half-heartedly told him yes, but she really had no intention of going to the class. After multiple calls from Darius, Antoinette decided to give the program a try. Once she got here, she says that she continued making excuses. But, after receiving help and encouragement from the staff, Antoinette decided she was going to stay and complete the program.
She learned several skills throughout the six weeks in the classroom and says that her favorite guest speaker was Tasha Scott. Tasha reminded Antoinette that she can still dream big, and if her dreams don’t scare her, they aren’t big enough. This instilled the mindset in Antoinette that she can still set goals and achieve them.
In March of this year, Vesta began searching for a job. She knew she was ready to branch out and do something different with her career. She sent numerous resumes but unfortunately never received any calls for interviews. By this point, she says she was feeling discouraged, desperate, and insecurities were beginning to take over her mind.
Vesta prayed that God would open her eyes to new ideas and opportunities. One day, as she was scrolling through Facebook, she came across an ad for Hope Inspired Ministries. She says, “I felt my pulse race and thought to myself that this is the opportunity of my prayers.”
Vesta filled out our online student application, and Darius called her soon after. She says that Darius was the first person who she shared her personal life story with, outside of family, and she felt validated by his loving and compassionate response. After speaking with Darius, Vesta knew she would attend the H.I.M. program.
Through the program, Vesta learned many wonderful truths through the wisdom of speakers, teachers, and her peers. She learned that we are all more alike than we are different. She learned we are all broken, but more importantly, we are all forgiven.
Today, Vesta has the confidence she was lacking. After struggling with interviews, she now feels more prepared after learning the “One Two Punch” and “STAR Method” from our Site Director, Gene. In fact, she has already landed a job at Food Outlet! We are so proud of Vesta and excited to see her future unfold.
Before coming to Hope Inspired Ministries, Wallace was working a short-term job, but he knew he had more to offer. Wallace was ready to break the cycle of working just to make ends meet. Wallace came across one of our H.I.M. signs that reads, “Can’t Keep A Job? Let Us Help!” Shortly after, his wife handed him a Hope Inspired Ministries flyer. This was the confirmation Wallace needed to take the next step and enroll in our program.
Wallace completed our program and was awarded Honor Graduate. This award is only given to one graduate per class and is a high honor at Hope Inspired Ministries. Currently, Wallace is working at Kamtek, and he has even offered to volunteer as a lunch provider for the students in our next class.
Before Hope Inspired Ministries, John says he wasn’t doing much of anything. He mainly spent his days sitting around and drinking. He had been out of the workforce since 2006 due to a work related injury, but that all changed with a knock on his door.
One day, John’s friend stopped by to tell him about a free hotdog and hamburger cookout going on down the street. His friend had spoken with Darius at the cookout, and he shared all the information he learned with John. John says, “The next thing I knew, I was in the classroom!”
When class started, John felt a little apprehensive. He remembers feeling a little strange with all of the new faces to learn. However, as he and his classmates began to open up about their life journeys, he started to feel more comfortable.
Throughout the program, John learned many useful skills, but more importantly, his relationship with God grew. He enjoyed participating in devotion each morning, and he particularly loved when Dr. Latting came to lead devotion. John says, “Hope Inspired Ministries brought me out of a hole that I was in, and I know that I will always come back to this place that changed my life.”
Ramona has lived at Pathways for the past 12 years, which is where she first learned about Hope Inspired Ministries. She enjoyed the program so much, that she was here early every single morning, and never missed a day of class, earning her the Perfect Attendance award.
Ramona says that she learned about behavior, life skills, and employment while she was at H.I.M. She enjoyed hearing guest speakers, like Jacquie from Bama Wellness, and she had fun creating and presenting her life map. Ramona says the life map exercise taught her a lot about herself, and she expressed, “It felt like I had a weight lifted off me.”
This week, Ramona will begin an internship with Grace Klein Community. Her goals are to get her own apartment and work part-time at a grocery store.