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“You were given a chance at life, so why not do it for someone else?”: Meet Masonry Instructor Jarnell Conrad

Jarnell Conrad is the masonry instructor at the Atterbury Job Corps Center in Indiana. He is also a Job Corps graduate.

“I love working with the youth, men and women, young adults,” says Jarnell. “I used to be a ruffian growing up, and I just know that if someone hadn’t stepped in and helped me, I just would not have made it. So that is what my passion is.”

“Your life was changed and you were given a chance at life, so why not do it for someone else? And that is what drives me every day I come here.”

Jarnell Conrad Masonry STILL
Atterbury Job Corps Center.

That’s right – Jarnell graduated over 30 years ago from Atterbury Job Corps.

“If they had a DNA test to go back 30 years, they’ll find my footprints on this floor.”

Having role models, he believes, changed his life.

“When I first came to Job Corps, it was actually when I was around professional black men. And that was very interesting to me,” he says. “The staff at Atterbury makes it a purpose and a mission to connect with the students at a level they’ve never experienced before. And I think that’s a big part of our success at Job Corps.”

Jarnell Conrad Masonry STILL
Jarnell Conrad, instructor.

Jarnell loves his students, and they love him. They love his enthusiasm and his unique way of communicating.

“I liken myself as like a tow truck. Okay? And I just latch on to them, get them unstuck, point them in the right direction so they can go on their way rightfully,” he says. “The best part is watching them grow, growing from a rock to a flower. That’s the best part of it.”

Jarnell plans to stay around. “This is my mission. This is my lifeline. This is what I look forward to every day. This is what I go to bed thinking about at night – them boys.”

Jarnell Conrad Masonry STILL
Jarnell Conrad, instructor.