Graduate Spotlight: Davis Brooks

How did you make your way to TPOM?

I heard about the program through some of the other guys at Northeast. They were showing (the movie) The Meanest Man in Texas and I went along. Mr. Danby was always so nice, took me into the class, and I became part of the Synergy Team. That meant that in later classes, I was a table leader and could help others cope with incarceration and prepare for reentry. When Thomas Snow came and talked about the program, I started doing everything I could to come here.

What were some of your concerns as you began the program?

I wasn’t sure how it would go, but the people here made me feel welcome. It seemed like a safe place. I began to share things about myself and opened up more and more when I felt comfortable.

How did TPOM help you in your transition?

TPOM wrote a letter to the parole board and let them know I had a bed and a place in the program if they released me. From the very beginning, they gave me what I needed, from picking me up at the bus station to getting me something to eat. They showed they could help people on the inside and then have the resources to help them for life on the outside.

How did your job search go?

Of course, Fred Lopez was involved. I had some previous management experience with McDonald’s. While I was in the program, I took 8 weeks of paid training and now manage a McDonald’s location. I hope it encourages others that someone can come out of incarceration and then be prepared to manage other people.

What future plans do you have?

I’m getting ready for a new position with McDonald’s that will be another step up and will involve training others. I studied culinary arts behind the bars and became certified as a chef. I’ve also been certified as a personal trainer and nutritionist through the National Association of Sports Medicine, so I have a lot of tools to use for building my future.

Do you have advice for others preparing for reentry?

Give it a chance. “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” but take the first step and others will be there to help you reconnect with life on the outside.

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