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Michael Richardson was the first client, as well as one of the four founders, of 4HRS. The impact of 4HRS dovetails with his personal story. First imprisoned at age 13 for truancy, Mike, as he is known, became criminalized while in juvenile detention. He was a young man inadequately challenged in school and targeted for remedial classes because of his race, despite consistently high-test scores. Without positive male figures to look up to on either side of the prison wall, survival meant learning to live like the 16-year-old felons. Which of course he was able to mimic with precision.
For the next 20 years of his life, he poured his intelligence and work ethic into the hustle. That was his career. He was doing survival crime and going to prison was simply an occupational hazard. He spent more time in the joint than out of it, his last prison sentence lasting just over 10 years. Between his first arrest at 13 and the last one, Mike was arrested over 100 times.
Once released from the 10+ year sentence, Mike and James discovered major gaps in services for returning citizens. But, having committed his life and personal finances to building 4HRS, James treated Mike as his first client – providing one-on-one case management services. Together they worked out a lot of kinks for 4HRS, as well as firmed up what the organization needed to do to provide relevant and non-transactional services for their clients. While 4HRS helped Mike get a driver’s license, job training, a job, and more; Mike helped 4HRS understand the challenges folks face coming out of the system; how to individualize services; and reinforced the plan to build a strong mentorship program.
Mike is a great example of the positive results of 4HRS because he demonstrates that the teachers, trainers, and mentors of 4HRS are not only sincere, but the curriculum is solid and folks are qualified: they clearly have the ability to make sure their program is actually going to help. It helped Mike.
“Having a record doesn’t stop you from making it. 4HRS is realistic; it’s not quelling people’s dreams but figuring out a way to make it happen.”
Today Mike is a full-time Truck Operator and a part-time Motivational Speaker with the 4 Horsemen.
Waymond “Hakim” Davis crossed paths with the 4 horsemen in May 2018. He had recently hired Michael Richardson to haul vehicles cross country with his new trucking company. A few years earlier he was incarcerated with Michael at Riverbend Correctional Facility in Milledgeville, GA. After his incarceration he was fortunate enough to have saved a considerable amount of money and had a thriving familial and friendship network that afforded him an opportunity to become an entrepreneur. When Michael told him about the 4 Horsemen Rehabilitation Services he was immediately interested and wanted to know more about the organization and how he could help. We invited him to our first meet and greet in which we formally introduced ourselves to the greater Atlanta area. By the end of the presentation he was determined to be a part. Soon thereafter he was invited to enroll in our mentorship program. This enabled him to pay it forward to others like him that were dealing with post incarceration issues that he recently navigated successfully. He excelled in the method that the 4 HRS uses to mentor clients and soon brought others like him, who were experiencing various degrees of success, in order for the 4HRS to have a more diverse group of peer mentors. Over the next year he interacted with the Executive Director personally. Hakim’s investment in development and his newfound understanding of personal growth led him to seeking out new ways to grow his business. He credits the 4 Horsemen for creating the spark that lit the flame to his development and growth as a leader.
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