Participant Success Story: Terrell
Terrell is 32 years old and was born and raised in East Oakland. As a kid he loved to play sports and was always very active. However, his home life was unstable and he yearned for the finer things in life. Eventually he started hanging-out with the wrong crowd and doing illegal activities to make money so he could buy nice things his family could not afford. After spending years going in and out of jail and prison Terrell began to realize that something in his life needed to change. Then in September of 2013 he got “called-in” by Oakland’s Operation Ceasefire.
Initially he felt scared. Terrell was finally starting to make better decisions in his life and then he was “called-in” by the Oakland Police Department. However, after he heard what was being offered he decided to take advantage of the case management and community resources that were presented to him at the call-in.
He met his case manager, from Oakland Unite, and instantly felt supported. Terrell explained, “Emilio is sincere, he pointed me in the right direction, his personality made me click with him.”
Through his relationship with Emilio and the resources he was offered Terrell was able to successfully complete school to become a personal trainer and received his certificate. Terrell has always loved working out. After having a hard time finding work due to his criminal record Terrell decided he could put his passion for fitness towards a career. Terrell is now a certified personal trainer and has his own business. He loves his job because it is all about helping people and saving lives. He says he enjoys “seeing people happy and in shape and overcoming their diseases.”
When asked what advice he would give to others wanting to change their lives he said, “Believe, have patience, stay focused and good things will come.” He is a strong believer in discipline, dedication and desire.
Currently, Terrell is enrolled at a local community college to continue his education and is working towards a degree in kinesiology.
Terrell’s story highlights the importance of the work being done by Oakland Unite case managers. The ability to build relationships with participants, connect them to resources and services, and support the changes they are making in their lives is a critical component to their success.