Video: A Probation Officer, a Nonprofit Case Manager, and Family: The Relationships that Supported One Young Person’s Path to Success Header

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Video: A Probation Officer, a Nonprofit Case Manager, and Family: The Relationships that Supported One Young Person’s Path to Success

As a child, Abisai Montes and his parents moved from their home in North Dallas to a rougher part of town, where Montes says he learned to carry a switchblade to feel safe. At 15, when he was on his way to see some friends, a stranger attacked him and Montes pulled out his knife. As a result, Montes spent time in a juvenile detention center.

In the video below, Montes says he was fortunate to have a probation officer who encouraged him to pursue an education and surround himself with positive influences. When Montes got an internship at Café Momentum, a nonprofit restaurant that trains adjudicated youth for careers in the restaurant industry, he excelled in the program, developed a close relationship with his case manager, and was awarded a full scholarship to culinary school.

 

While in juvenile detention, Montes says he worried that his family would be disappointed, but they continued to be there for him.

“I actually thought I was gonna be a failure,” Montes says in the video, “but I’m making the best choices now, and I want the best for me and my family.”

After culinary school, Montes plans on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

To find out more about career readiness programs and the role that relationships play in preparing young people for the workforce, read the Center for Promise report Turning Points: How Young People in Four Career Pathways Programs Describe the Relationships that Shape Their Lives.