From Poverty on the Streets of New Jersey to a Possible Career with the FBI

“I had a rough time growing up. I got kicked out of my house at a young age, so I had to strive for myself.”

Joey Clark was homeless at the age of 17.

“It didn’t feel good. People walked past you, your parents walk past you. People make fun of you because you’re homeless and you’re young, calling you bums. It’s not a good feeling.”

For nearly two years, he lived on the streets of Newark, New Jersey. Then, his cousin stepped in.

“She told me about this program out here in New York. And she wanted me to sign up for it, so I came.”

The program? Job Corps. The center, South Bronx.

“And ever since I’ve been to Job Corps, it’s like my life hasn’t been the same. I’ve just accomplished things I never thought I would accomplish.”

Joey completed the security program and is headed to college for a degree in criminal justice. He’s always wanted to be in law enforcement.

“I hope to be FBI one day, special agent. I’ve just got to keep pushing and keep on that straight road.”

Job Corps and caring staff made all the difference.

“There are people here actually to help me, actually to better myself as a person and a human being to others. I really recommend anybody for Job Corps because it changed my life, and I know it can change somebody else’s.”

He’s left his mark on the South Bronx Job Corps Center, literally. Take a look at this painting in one of the center’s hallways.

“The man was doing graffiti on the wall, just painting. So, I walked by and I was like, ‘listen, I’m in security. You might as well put me up there as a security person.’ So, he just snapped me. And the next day I just saw it, and I was up there.”

For Joey, Job Corps is so much more than a job skills program.

“It feels good to be turned around and know that I can take care of myself and know that I’m a better person for myself. Because now I’m a school leader. I’m SGA, student government. I’m new student ambassador. I mentor a lot of students, and a lot of students look up to me.”