Adam has been on his own since he was 17. Separated from his father and two elder brothers, he has been in and out of the system in the four years since. He found Just Bakery through the Huber program, a work-release arrangement that allowed him to leave the jail on a daily basis for employment training. At first, he joined the program as “just a way to get out,” but soon found that it gave him direction. Adam had felt as if his life had been “going nowhere,” but joining Just Bakery gave him the opportunity to exercise his mind and learn new skills. He “figured out I was good at math…that I am able to take things in and remember them better than I thought.” He has also learned a lot about baking–something he would never have thought to pursue–and has developed a special taste for cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing.
Since beginning at Just Bakery, Adam has never missed a day. Part of the reason that Adam has stuck with the program and flourished is because of the people. Just in the first two months of the program, Adam has built lasting relationships with the teachers and students. The friendly environment “makes me want to come back and say hi” even when he graduates. Part of building those relationships is “learning to trust people,” and believing that they “are there to help, if I ask.”
Adam feels “overwhelmed and scared” about his upcoming release date from jail, but knows that he can rely on the base of support that he has built at Just Bakery. He hopes to establish a stable life where he never has to worry about clothes or money. He intends to stay sober, and “surround myself with positive people.” Asked about his long-term goals, Adam says he wants to be “finished with or still attending college,” and be reunited with his family.
His advice to future participants in the program: students just “gotta keep doing it,” and they will soon “realize it is easier than you thought.”
…by Diana G…