“Re-entry is my passion and this is my calling,” John says of the 24/7 nature of mentoring. “I’m learning to be like the good father that I, and most of my team, never had.”
HOPE AFTER PRISON
“Prison is the best thing that could have happened to me,” says John Gammon, Renewing Management’s Asset Team Director. “It took me out of the world so I could see my life for what it really was.”
When John was released from prison in 2015 after serving 18 years for dealing drugs, he had no desire to return to addiction’s strangling hopelessness. “I formed a personal relationship with God in prison,” John says. “Prison completely revolutionized my life, and I was determined to be a different man.”
John began to mentor other young men, who, like himself, came from fatherless homes, and help them reacclimate into society after incarceration. In 2016 John met Renewing Management President, Ethan Fernhaber.
“He didn’t view me as a criminal,” says John. In fact, Ethan quickly saw in John the passion, humility and drive to help ignite a new company initiative aimed at helping former inmates. John’s quick smile and generous laugh lights up a room and his deep commitment to giving people a second chance was the right combination for the Asset Team program to get off the ground in 2017.
Called the “Asset Team,” this group of formerly incarcerated workers joins the program after being released from prison and work to gain the skills they need, both personally and professionally, to be an asset to the company.
“We teach job skills – plumbing, drywall, framing – but they also receive help with housing and personal mentoring. We teach how to be productive citizens at weekly meetings and discuss topics like personal finance, conflict resolution and integrity. Our team is accountable to each other,” says John.
Directing the Asset Team isn’t an 8 – 5 job, however. Asset team members can contact John any time they need help. John is strongly aware that the pressures of the outside world can quickly cause people to begin to turn back to old patterns and detrimental relationships. He is unashamed of his deep faith, and helps everyone he meets to understand a relationship with Jesus and how this leads to real life transformation.
“The Asset Team is my passion, this is my calling,” John says of the 24/7 nature of mentoring. “I’m learning to be like the good father that I, and most of my team, never had.”
After the one-year program, Asset Team graduates can take their skills to other employers or apply for a position on the Renewing Management team. In the past three years, 35 people have gone through the Asset Team program. Many of them still work for Renewing Management.
“I work for the greatest company on the face of the earth,” John proclaims. “I love coming to work; I love what I do. At Renewing Management, we have a passion for people, and we don’t discriminate. We are a family.”