I grew up in Milwaukee. I started smoking cigarettes, marijuana, and drinking when I was 13 years old. My good grades began to fall and I missed graduating by half of a credit.

I had a bad habit and no idea how to shake it. It cost me numerous management positions, all my possessions and my marriage. I stumbled after my divorce and one day my Pastor gave me the number to Teen Challenge. My brother took me there and paid my induction fee.

The moment I came through the doors, the Lord took my desire for drugs and alcohol away. Poof! No cravings. Two days later He took a 21 year nicotine habit away. I had tried all my life to stop doing drugs. But 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Behold! All things are made new.

After finishing second phase, I moved back to Milwaukee to be near my mother and my children. I worked at Milwaukee Gear as a machinist for five years. When 9/11 destroyed manufacturing in Milwaukee, there was a reduction in force from 300 to 200 to 100, all the way down to 20.

I was able to operate many different kinds of equipment and that made me more useful and kept me on the job until the end. Finally, I was laid off. After unemployment ran out, my brother helped me get a job at Bank One where he was the manager in the Loan-By-Phone department.

I was promoted from loan closings to team lead for underwriting. The bank paid for me to get my license in investments and insurance and now I am a personal banker. I obtained an associate degree in Theology and teach classes at The Sprit of Truth World Ministries Bible College. I have two children. My 20 year old daughter, Natalie, is a student at Purdue and my 14 year old son, Jason, attends school here in Milwaukee.

I want to thank God and Teen Challenge for changing my life and giving me another chance