Organization Steers Troubled Young Men Down Right Path Through Faith
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - Isiah James said he had a fantasy of being a drug dealer and having a lot of money.
Isiah's fantasy is familiar to many young men who grow up in Nashville's inner-city neighborhoods.
"Just seeing the guys I looked up to riding around in nice cars and having nice jewelry and I wanted to be a part of that," said James.
But the fantasy plunged Isiah into a world of crime.
"Selling a lot of drugs, making money, carrying guns around, got involved in gangs, a whole lot of stuff. My house getting shot up," Isiah recalls.
Eventually, he lost his freedom.
"When I was in jail, I was told I had a 12-year sentence. The DA told me I could go to jail and do the sentence or go to 4:13 Strong," said Isiah.
4:13 Strong helps young men like Isiah find a new direction in life, using Philippians chapter four, verse 13 as the foundation for change.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," said Steve Norris of 4:13 Strong.
"I don't think I've ever been this proud of myself, ever," said Isiah.
Now, after months of job training, financial literacy, and spiritual growth, Isiah is making real changes in his life.
"I have a job now at T.W. Frierson and we do construction work here," said Isiah.
"We couldn’t be happier that Isiah is part of who we are and part of our company and what we do each day to serve our clients," said Bob Upton with T.W. Frierson Contractors.
And thanks to volunteers and mentors, the men of 4:13 Strong can build lasting friendships with people who invest in their future.
"We thought it would be fun to have an opportunity to have them come to a sounds game and be in Pennacle's suite there and we had a blast," said Tom Dozier with Pennacle Financial Partners.
Isiah said he's living the good life, working every day and taking ownership of his future.
"I don’t hang around the same people I used to. I don’t even have the same best friends I used to. My new best friend is my bed. I love my bed. I sit here at work sometimes and I think about my bed for a while. I get home, I hug it. That bed keeps me out of a lot of trouble."