After falling on hard times, it can be hard to stay optimistic. But when you talk with Dre Brown, despite overwhelming challenges he has faced in recent years, his ambition and positivity shine through.
There were times when success seemed out of reach, and he wanted to “throw in the towel.” But then he came to Millionair Club Charity.
“I was at the lowest I’ve been in my life,” Dre said. “I came here and it was kind of my last resort…I just wanted to work and be productive.”
That was back in June. After about six months at MCC, Dre has found a support system and the sense of stability that he’s been seeking. He’s worked closely with MCC staff to make a plan for success, and has reached the Platinum level of MCC’s STEP program. That means he is eligible to make $14 an hour and be a crew lead on jobs, after completing a series of workshops around budgeting, soft skills and other vital skills to make him job ready.
“What once seemed far away is now attainable – my ambition has risen so much,” Dre said.
Throughout his time working with MCC, Dre has been able to open up to Ian Warren Downs, MCC’s director of social enterprise development. Having someone to talk to, or even just smile and say hello, made a big difference for Dre.
“I always saw his drive and ambition,” Ian said. “He would question himself, but I saw him making the right decisions along the way, and now he’s ready for the next step in life, toward stability.”
The soft skills workshops focusing on a deeper understanding of interpersonal communication were a key point for Dre.
“I didn’t know the difference between ‘hard skills’ and ‘soft skills,’” Dre said. “I just knew that work was work, but now I know that you’ve got to have soft skills, even if you’re good at your job if you don’t have good, effective verbal communication, you’re going to sink.”
Dre took his learnings about soft skills and applied them to his personal life as well, improving his ability to communicate and connect with his family and friends. He is excited about following his plan and continuing to achieve his goals with ongoing help from MCC.
“My good job performance is recognized and that makes me want to work harder,” Dre said.
When he works his way to the top, Dre tells us that wants to have a “ripple effect” and help others who are struggling to overcome poverty and homelessness.
Dre has access to a wide variety of support services, such as skills workshops, clothing and vision care thanks to MCC employment partners and donors. You can support workers like Dre by exploring how to hire a worker on our website, or making a contribution to our annual campaign today.
We can’t wait to see what is next for Dre – his future is bright!