From a chance meeting to a career path and plan for the future

The following article originally appeared on the Focus: HOPE web site.

Deangelo Simpkin

A chance meeting changed the life of Deangelo Simpkin.

A chance meeting on a bus put Deangelo Simpkin, 25, on the path to a career and the financial stability he was seeking.

Simpkin met Judith Brantley, a Focus: HOPE colleague who coordinates the Neighborhood Jobs Pipeline, as both were traveling by bus to Chicago. Brantley offered to assist Simpkin with his resume and job search.

Before long, Simpkin had two job interviews and decided to enroll in the Earn & Learn program which provided him with four weeks of job readiness training. He also enrolled at the Center for Working Families (CWF) which provides financial literacy training along with job placement assistance.

A few weeks after that chance meeting, Simpkin was hired into a seasonal job with the Greening of Detroit. As that job was ending, he had the opportunity to interview for year-around job as a construction laborer with O’Brien Edwards. Now, he’s earning a great wage as a laborer and planning to pursue additional training to become a licensed electrician.

“Deangelo is a prime example of the “continuum of support” at work,” said Brantley. His success was ensured by multiple touches, from the jobs pipeline to the CWF to the Earn & Learn program to his first job with the Greening of Detroit, “each touch helped to develop him professionally and personally which ultimately prepared him for the opportunities that he was presented.

“Collaboratively we can revel in his achievements and recognize that collectively we were able to provide a resident the wrap around services that placed him on the path to success,” she said.