Five years ago, higher education was not an option for Maurice. At that time, he suffered a near fatal head injury when he was shot two times in the head following an altercation with someone he knew in his own neighborhood.
Maurice was left paralyzed with major brain damage. While in the hospital there was an error made causing a life-threatening infection that left him in a coma for three months. Doctors warned that Maurice might not live, but he beat his odds.
A Second Chance
Maurice had to re-learn how to walk, speak, communicate and think for himself again. It took years of rehab to regain everything he had before the shooting. His body remained barely functional, but through time his physical capabilities grew.
When he was ready to begin working, Maurice’s Mom learned about the human services training program taught at JEVS’ Orleans Technical College. He completed the career diploma program with a 3.86 GPA. During the internship phase of the program, Maurice practiced his new skills, working with families and youth members of the Family and Youth Service Bureau.
Making an Impact
During his time at Orleans Tech, Maurice took great advantage of its career services department, which assisted him in re-entering the workforce. Maurice was hired by The Bridge in May 2016 and currently works as a Youth Mentor. The Bridge is a behavioral treatment and youth opportunity program that assists adolescents and their families who face problems concerning mental health and physical wellbeing.
Despite his trauma, Maurice continues to use his story to generate positive change among his mentees and others who undergo daily struggles.
“When I woke up, I realized I had a second chance. This is my chance to talk to the youth to get them to turn around so they don’t have to hit that brick wall like I did. I’m like a big brother to a bunch of kids. I give them my story so they can see that the way they are going is not where they want to be.”