MTI graduate now has great career

Russell Taylor makes us proud.

Taylor was recently featured on the Detroit 20/20 segment on WXYZ-TV.   (View the news segment from the video section of the front page of our website.) He talked about how grateful he is to Focus: HOPE for helping him establish a new life with a better future.

A former self-described gang banger, Taylor grew up in a middle class family in Chicago, but did everything wrong.   Now at 38, he is on track.   He came to Focus: HOPE earlier this year to get training to become a machinist.  Taylor graduated in June, was hired by Weber Automotive in July and has been promoted to shift supervisor.


His employer is so impressed with this performance that they are recruiting other graduates of the Machinist Training Institute. 


While Taylor’s story has been spotlighted, there are hundreds like him who have found their way with the support our programs provide.  It’s not just that they need training to improve their skills, they often need extra tutoring, help with bus passes to get to and from class, and referrals for assistance with rent, medical issues, or legal issues.  We don’t do it for them – but we do empower our students to take charge of their lives.






We also provide financial literacy training so that when they get that first, good-paying job they know how to start saving some of their income while paying all their bills on time. We warn them of the pitfalls – like driving up credit card debt -- and apprise them of the opportunities for building wealth.

There’s nothing more gratifying than to see graduates like Russell Taylor.  They truly have a world of possibilities before them – often possibilities they never thought possible.    Buying a car, buying or renting a home, helping their children with their homework, becoming a role model in their extended families, taking a vacation – all these basic things in life become a reality once a Focus: HOPE graduate has skills, a job, a career. 

William Jones