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Meet Shavelle

He’s transforming his life at Cara and Cleanslate, thanks to your support.

What was your life like before Cara?
I was on a bad path. Just…on the wrong direction. I was getting locked up over and over again. I was on the path to self-destruction.

How would you describe yourself then?
Lost. I was incarcerated six or seven times. The first time was at 13 years old. For 12 years I was in and out of the system. I saw the strain this was taking on my family, particularly my mom, and I knew I had to make a change.

Do you remember your first impression of Cara?
It surprised me how much they wanted to help me. Having this family. Having someone to talk to. It’s nice to just have someone you can talk to. I didn’t have that before.

Describe an important lesson learned at Cara.
Don’t relax. When you get too comfortable, you start forgetting what is good for you.

How did it feel to put on the Cleanslate uniform for the first time?
Man it felt good. I looked in the mirror and said, “Wow. I have a job.” It has felt amazing to be part of a team. I learned that if someone slacks, we are all slacking. We gotta make it to our destination together.

If you could go back in time and give past Shavelle a word of advice before his first day at Cara, what would that be?
This program is going to change you. Also, be sure to shake everyone’s hand.

What is your dream job?
I want to work for the CTA. I would love to learn how to drive the buses.

What’s your go-to song for the Motivations circle?
I haven’t gone in yet, but I would sing “Lean on Me.”

Describe yourself now.
Caring…loving…motivated. I’m so much more aware of my community now.

What motivates you?
Knowing that if I’m down, there is someone here to pick me up. I’m inspired to do better for myself.

Shavelle is transforming his life. Learn how you can help him unlock his power and purpose by getting back to work.