BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A national company with a location in Bakersfield is helping troubled youth find employment.
Young people recently incarcerated and now starting over are getting a second chance, learning responsibility and hard work as they find new opportunities for Martese Robinson it’s just another day at the office.
“What I’m gonna do is I’m gonna clean your shoes,” said Robinson to a customer.
But getting here wasn't so easy.
"It was hard. It was real hard being on parole and striving to get it. It was like I can't get it, I can't get it and my conscious telling me to go back to the streets. It's hard and the only thing I know is the streets, but my life is in God’s hands and he put me where I am today,” he said.
Robinson is finding success working at shoe magic, helping people save money as they learn about different ways to keep their foot ware brand new.
"Now, I actually got something to take the streets off my mind, not only did I get a job, but I actually met cool friends that now we actually call each other brothers," said Robinson.
The company allows youth, once in trouble with the law to get a second chance at making things right.
James rosas: "It's a lot of young people that just don't know what they are doing with their lives so, when they come in here, we teach them how to be a man. We teach them how to actually work," said James Rosas with MGK Shoe.
As they learn to be responsible adults, workers begin to develop the skills they need to help others in similar situations lead brighter futures.
"My advice would be do not follow the wrong crew. You know what's right and what's wrong. Do what you feel and stay self-motivated and don’t try to go down the wrong path or the follow the wrong people," said Chris, an employee with the company.
Managers with the company say employees also get a chance at taking on leadership roles to help spark their interest in one day starting their own business.
"I never gave up, just kept on trying," he said.
Some of the workers we spoke with say they spent months trying to land a job and now that they're employed, they plan on focusing on school.
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