Travis had been involved with the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) since he was 14 years old. He was arrested for several felony offenses and charged as an adult, but sentenced back to the Department of Juvenile Justice and placed in a DJJ residential commitment program. After completing the program, Travis was released back to his home community and joined Eckerd Kids’ Project Bridge the next day.
Travis has been motivated to make the most of his second chance, while participating with Project Bridge and is an outstanding example of a youth who has successfully transitioned home following residential confinement. Taking inspiration from his mother, who is a successful hair stylist, Travis decided he wanted to attend a local barber academy. Though he enrolled at Manhattan Beauty School, Travis needed additional funding to pay for the required barber kit and textbooks. His assigned Eckerd Transition Coordinator helped him purchase books and a kit for $600 through donated funds, allowing him to begin his studies on schedule.
In fewer than three months, Travis has completed 300 of 2,000 required hours and is now more than a quarter of the way to earning his barber certificate. Travis has already progressed to the point of working with paying customers on the salon floor, and has demonstrated admirable skills in the classroom that has earned the trust of his instructors. At his current pace, Travis will earn his Florida practitioner’s license in 4-6 months, at which point he will be able to work in any barber shop in the state. Not content to simply work as a barber, Travis aspires to open his own barber shop within the next few years; his Transition Coordinator has connected him with a local business owner who will mentor him in his pursuit of this goal.
Travis has earned his SafeStaff certificate while with Project Bridge, and is now working at Raymond James Stadium providing concessions for events at the stadium. He is also very involved with church youth group, which meets weekly.
Travis is an outstanding example of a young man who has dedicated himself to both short-term and long-term goals and is making the most of the opportunities provided through Eckerd Kids’ Project Bridge program.