"The power to write your own next chapter."

16 October 2020

Ronald Rodgers has “so many stories.” As an employment specialist in Osborne’s Career Center, he uses his quarter-century of experience to place people in good jobs — jobs that pay the bills, support the family, and evoke that sense of pride we all look for at work. That’s already a success story. But Ronald’s passion is to go even further, to help participants build careers for which they have a passion.

Earlier this year, when Mr. Rodgers first met with participant Petal, she had a full-time maintenance job and was working two additional part-time jobs. After learning about her interests and experience, Mr. Rodgers referred her to a career-path position at an employment agency. On Petal’s first day in the job, her employers raised concerns about the felony conviction she had disclosed to them. Petal advocated for herself, as Mr. Rodgers had coached her, and then reached out to him. 

As she described in a letter to Osborne, his response was: “Petal, you need not worry, we got this.”

Her letter continues, “Fast forward, if not for the glowing reference, the show of support and confidence, the sharing of my ability to be resilient... I shudder to think whether I would have been given the opportunity to retain the job, where I’m presently working…”

People like Petal, who are working so hard to transform their lives, are Mr. Rodgers’ inspiration. He tells of many inspiring people, including the staff of Osborne’s social enterprise, Janitorial Maintenance Services, who are making it possible for NYC to stay open by cleaning and sterilizing 13 subway stations every night.

In turn, Osborne’s participants are inspired by him, a man who has shown through his accomplishments that incarceration does not end your story — that you have the power to write your own next chapter. All you may need is someone like Mr. Rodgers, and someplace like Osborne.

From all of us at Osborne, thank you for supporting our work to transform lives, families, communities, and the criminal justice system.

Liz Gaynes
President & CEO

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