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Re-Entry Roundtable is a continuing column that provides news, facts, and program successes within the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative.


Also in December 2009, Brian returned home and he hit the ground running. The MPRI workforce development team assisted Brian in finding em- ployment with Property Management Systems in Kalamazoo working in the maintenance depart- ment where he is a big part of their team. While working hard and keeping the complex up and run- ning, he has earned the respect of his supervisor. Brian is often given assignments where he is the sole person on the project or is given the responsi- bility to be the leader on other assignments. Brian is also the maintenance person for the apartment complex where he lives. This is a part-time posi- tion where Brian receives free rent for fixing and maintaining the nine apartment units. Brian will be The Berrien MPRI has had several success sto- ries, but there are two stories that stand out from the rest. With so many individuals in the MPRI program reaching new heights once they arrive home, it is hard to focus on just one. We have de- cided to focus on two stories that have been major successes even though they took different paths to succeed. In December 2009, Rhiannon returned home and faced adversity with finding employment. While spending most of her time during the day job seek- ing at local businesses to find employment, she became frustrated with the lack of results, but she never gave up! She knew that if she would be very successful, but given a chance she didn’t know enrolled at Lake Michigan College in the fall semes- ter and he will be taking classes to receive a certifi- cation in Heating and Air Conditioning installation and repair. Brian was also when that opportunity would present itself. While working hard to find employment, even- tually the Roadhouse Grill in Paw Paw, Michigan hired her as a full-time cook! Within for the Council a panel member MPRI Advisor y Town Hall meeting on April 1, 2011 and did an excel- two hours after her in- terview she started her first shift on the job. From Left: Cass/Van Buren County Parole Supervisor Carl Butler, Rhiannon, Brian and Van Buren County Parole Agent Susan Rondeau. lent job telling his story Knowing that she only and explaining how success is the responsibility of each individual person. He also stressed that by having MPRI services waiting for him when he came home, it really helped him with an early jump start towards his success. had two hours, she contacted Van Buren County Parole Office and Parole Agent Susan Rondeau to inform them of the good news that she was hired. Without much time, she needed the help of Agent Rondeau to put in a request to get some work clothes for her first shift. Her request was granted and she received some work clothes for work that With the help of MPRI services, Rhiannon and Brian were able to succeed when they returned to the community. Both of them are making positive strides by bettering their education and maintain- ing steady employment. her first couple paychecks from the Grill, she was able to save enough day. With Roadhouse a down payment on an apartment. been on the job for six months and money to Rhiannon put has F.Y.I. would like to thank MPRI Community Coordinator Todd Berger of Berrien County for submitting this article. is also enrolled in the fall semester Valley Community College where studying business and psychology. at Kalamazoo she will be

JUNE 3, 2011


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