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Derrick’s path in his early life was clear and hopeful. He was, “always a good kid,” did well in school, and was blessed with a great education and employment opportunities. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University in 1990, spent a year studying and working in Israel, worked for a Congressman for six years, and continued his travels as a flight attendant.
“Things were good and then I started drinking. When alcohol got me, it tore me down,” Derrick explained. He continued to work intermittently during this time in his life, but he was often laid off due to his alcohol abuse.
After multiple incarcerations that eventually led him to become homeless, Derrick sought help from Inspiration Corporation and started to turn his life around. After enrolling in our programs, he realized that he wanted to further his education in order to pursue a career that would serve his community as well as provide an income.
Thanks to the graciousness of a private donor, Derrick was able to continue his studies through the Lori Jericho Memorial Education Fund. This scholarship helps people who do not qualify for federal student aid or other scholarships to further their education, giving them a chance to increase their qualifications and reach their full potential.
Ron Jericho, a volunteer and long-time supporter of Inspiration Corporation, created the Lori Jericho Memorial Education Fund in the memory of his late wife, a teacher who was passionate about education and second chances. Ron and the entire Jericho family believe that, “Everyone needs an opportunity to earn a living,” and we greatly appreciate the opportunity to prepare our participants for the workforce through higher education.
Derrick passed his training exams with flying colors, and he is eager to continue learning. Since enrolling in our programs, he has become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC), secured employment as a Case Aide at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, and become stably housed.
Derrick is proud to be where he is today – employed, sober, and housed – and he credits Inspiration Corporation for encouraging him in the right direction: “It kind of retunes your mind and getes you ready for the real world.”