“There’s always a variety of ways to change,” Quamain said when asked what he would say to his 14-year-old self in hopes it would have encouraged him to make wiser decisions as a young man.
Unfortunately, there was not a voice echoing those words to the young Quamain, and he spiraled down a path that quickly led to his incarceration and commitment to a Department of Juvenile Justice residential facility where he bounced in and out the past four years.
In his most recent discharge back into his community, Quamain enrolled with Eckerd Connects Project Bridge for the fourth time and was surrounded by a team of people who absolutely refused to give up on him. With this support, Quamain realized that there was more to life than he had understood before.
“I started analyzing my decisions and thinking about the outcome of my choices,” Quamain shared. “I want more for myself and when trouble comes across my path, I don’t let it get to me because I think about what I want in life and know that I can work for it and earn it – I don’t have to take it from someone else.”
“Each stone is unique and has to be worked in a different way.”
Quamain, now 18-years-old, was hired at Absolute Granite and works daily to prepare the granite for customers. As a high school graduate, he desires to enroll in trade school to become certified in AC Repair and eventually to own his own business in that field.
“My favorite thing about my job is working with the different stones,” Quamain stated. “Each stone is unique and has to be worked in a unique way.”
These words can be applied to people as well, as each youth Project Bridge serves is unique and must be served individually in order for them to get optimal success for their lives.
Quamain’s team is doing just that. Not only has this young man found the path of change best for him under their guidance, he has secured and maintained his full-time position in the face of homelessness and lack of transportation.
He resides with a friend helping him get on his feet and recently was given a bicycle by his team to help him get to and from work. Quamain’s short-term goal is to save enough money and take financial literacy classes to help him get his first apartment so he can take the next step in life, enrolling in trade school.
“If I could tell anyone out there about another person it would be that things are not always as they appear to be,” Quamain shared. “Someone may have made bad decisions, but it’s impossible to know what led to them making those decisions. They may have a lot of good in them.”
The Project Bridge team is proud of Quamain for his strong mindset and investment in his future. This young man is a perfect example of someone who may have fallen down six times, but he has gotten right back up for a seventh round. Now he has a fixed vision of his place in his community and his world.