Client Spotlight: Tim Bell Chimes with Inspiration
Jacob’s Ladder graduate Tim Bell’s story is one of second chances, persistence and inspiration. A native of Charlotte, Tim held a few small jobs as a teenager and then at 19 years old was incarcerated for committing a crime. After 17 years in prison, he was released on January 3, 2011 and spent months looking for a job. He thought he knew it all and did his job search his own way. Even though he took job preparation classes while incarcerated, his job search approach was not working – the biggest challenge was explaining his background.
He was on the verge of giving up, unable to find a job and constantly being turned down. His confidence was depleting and he was feeling as though there was no use in continuing to look for employment. Tim heard of Jacob’s Ladder through a friend and enrolled in the August class. He was determined to complete the four-week program where he learned how to communicate with an interviewer, properly fill out applications, how to dress and how to best explain his background. He started to apply the things he was being taught and as a result of his persistence, he was able to acquire two jobs, one of which he landed on graduation day. Today, Tim is working at the TJ Maxx Distribution Center and often visits Jacob’s Ladder where he speaks to clients and shares his story. His experience has become a great inspiration to other Jacob’s Ladder clients because if finding a job can happen for him, it can happen for them.
Says Tim, “The people [staff and volunteers] at Jacob’s Ladder cared about me so much and wouldn’t let me be the angry individual I was when I first started the program. They embraced me with everything and gave me so much love.”