Meet Emmett

Cara Staff

He’s transforming his life at Cara, thanks to your support.

What was your life like before Cara?
I was born on the west side of Chicago in the ‘60s. My mother died when I was nine and soon after, I started messing with alcohol and drugs. I was addicted for more than four decades and was in and out of jail. I knew I had to turn my life over.

How would you describe yourself then?
Self-centered, fool-hearted, negative. I’ve always been a go-getter but I was using it in negative ways. Now I take those skills and put them towards the good things.

Do you remember your first impression of Cara?
What surprised me was that they said what they promised – that it’s the individual that determines their success here. People who come here have to put in the work. You can’t come here with a negative attitude and expect a positive outcome.

Describe an important lesson learned at Cara.
I learned I had to change my behavior and change the way I was thinking. If you don’t right your mind, you’ll never right the way you are acting.

What was it like the first day you put on your uniform to go to work at Cleanslate?
Man, I was so thankful for that opportunity. I was waiting for this. I knew that this was the opportunity to change me.

What is your dream job?
I’m a one-day at a time person. I’m keeping my goals short. I’m currently working at the CTA through their Second Chance program and I’m just working to complete that to the best of my abilities.

What’s your go-to song for the Motivations circle?
I was in the choir in our penitentiary’s church. We had a song called “Church Song,” something that we had just assembled on the spot. I knew I wanted to share that at Cara.

Describe yourself now.
Loving, productive, caring. I know I wasn’t brought this far just for me – I have the chance now to help somebody else.

Where would you be without Cara?
I’d be homeless. Jobless. When I first left the penitentiary I had no one. Cara has given me a network of support.

What motivates you?
Action. If you have a dream and you want to go forth, you got to put your dreams into action.

Emmett is transforming his life. Learn how you can help him unlock his power and purpose by getting back to work.