Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of 12 for Life

[♪ music ♪] At 12 For Life, students work in a traditional manufacturing environment. They have a Southwire supervisor, and they work alongside other young adults. That’s the way the job gets done. To my younger self, When I look back on my life from the past, it hurts. When I first started I was a 17-year-old fourth-year ninth grader. I didn’t think I had a chance to succeed. I was a fast-paced high school student living in the moment. Looking back on it now, I see a young lady headed down a dark and lonely path full of failure and mistakes. I see a high school dropout with no goals or support. I see all my broken dreams, bad decisions, and a future that did not exist. At 12 For Life, I learned to never give up, to push through, and strive for greatness. I gained a completely new outlook on life. The impact cannot be put into words. It made me who I am today. I learned so many things, and I improved every step of the way. What I gained from the program lives within me. And I couldn’t be happier with my decisions. Now that I’ve graduated from the program and earned my high school diploma, I look back on the past and smile. I went from not thinking that I could graduate high school to being the first college graduate in my family. I landed a successful job in the IT department. I’ve become a father, and I still work at Southwire. I’m a high school alumnus and nationally registered EMT and a triathlete. And I have a life-long set of goals and a career that I love. 12 For Life is a part of my life more now than when I was working there. To this day, I still use much of the information that I collected during my time at 12 For Life. Even after an amazing journey with 12 For Life, I still live by the three Ds—dedicated, determined, and dependable. I walk around each day with my head held high, ready to take on whatever challenges life may throw my way. My time at 12 For Life is my proudest accomplishment in my professional career so far. It was such an inspirational and emotional experience for me. I am forever thankful for the experience, the people, and the brighter future. Without 12 For Life, I wouldn’t have taken my life anywhere. I’m deeply appreciative of what 12 For Life has done for me, and I am honored to have been part of it. From the bottom of my heart and from others who went through the program, thank you. Thank you for creating this program to change lives and give students a fighting chance. Thank you for impacting my life and pushing me in the right direction. Thank you for giving me a foundation. Sincerely, James Tyler Martin, Class of 2016. Sincerely, Joseph Graham, Class of 2014. Sincerely, Nivenitie McDaniel, Class of 2010. Sincerely, Toni Kirby, Class of 2008. Regardless of whether they join Southwire or go to work for another company, our belief is that they would be more productive individuals and better contributors to society long term. [Southwire] [©2017 Southwire Company, LLC. All Rights Reserved.]

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