Mentoring program gives people a second chance, job readiness - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Mentoring program gives people a second chance, job readiness

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -

A boot camp in Peoria is helping people change their lives.

The New Millennium Institute offers a Life Skills and Job Readiness Bootcamp, looking to help people overcome the mistakes of their past or who need an extra boost of hope.

Kiar Young is one individual who went through the program. He said the program and his mentor, and founder of New Millennium Institute, Agbara Bryson, changed his life.

"He gave me the inspiration to be better because of the simple fact that I didn't have a father figure in my life," stated Young.

The program is designed to measure self handicapping behaviors.

A lot of the people who seek Bryson's help have barriers to employment, which is why he focuses on networking, basic soft skills, how to ace and interview and more.

Young went through the program about a year ago.

"He seems to have a great personality, was always pleasant...dealing with a lot of issues and challenges but he never gave up on addressing those issues and challenges," said Bryson.

In his teen years, Young got in the wrong crowd and was in a street gang. He served ten years in jail for aggravated criminal sexual assault too.

"I understand that I've made a mistake; that's when I was 17," said Young.

When he was released in 2016, he didn't want to fall back into his old habits.

"I refused to let myself fall back into it. I refused! My mind was already focused on what I needed to do," stated Young.

When he was introduced to Bryson's program, Young said it helped him get back on his feet.

"Pretty much my teenage years, when you learn how to get a job and all that other stuff, I was locked up for them years, so I was new to everything," said Young.

Today he has a full-time job, a new baby and a supportive family. He is also working with Bryson to reach even more goals.

"Stop blaming everybody else! Stop blaming! Stop pointing the finger," said Young.

He has some advice for others: "If you've got the options and the tools to get out of the situation that you know is tough for you, get out."

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