Stephon Martin (Cincinnati, OH)
Upward Mobility Awardee
The day Stephon Martin got out of prison he came to Building Value with the desire to work. He had spent his time thinking about past mistakes and planning a new course for his life after prison. He earned multiple construction certifications during his second stint in prison, but finding employment after incarceration proved difficult.
Building Value, a social enterprise of Easterseals Redwood, looks beyond the labels like “criminal”, and saw Stephon’s leadership potential and his commitment to help others avoid the same mistakes he made.
Once at Building Value, Stephon picked up new skills at a blazing pace and completed the 12-week training program in just six weeks. Before long, Stephon was a de facto crew lead. His talent, presence and drive made it inevitable he would grow into a leadership role when given the chance.
With his skills, Stephon could have worked anywhere after completing the program. But he chose to come back to Building Value, forgoing making more money at a big construction company, because he wanted to continue leading and mentoring.
Less than two years later, he has become a crew lead whose passion resonates with our trainees, and he goes above and beyondlet them know they have a secure support system. His mentorship of young men and women is the greatest gift he provides for Building Value.