A few days ago, I was talking on the patio at BREWED with Kenneth Wiley, one of our amazing staff members at BREWED, when a photographer from Fort Worth Magazine showed up to personally deliver a few copies of the December issue that featured BREWED. I was so excited to read what the amazing Jocelyn Tatum wrote about us.
What happened next was breathtaking...
When I was handed the magazines, Kenneth asked if he was in them, and I told him not only are you in them, but there's a great picture of you! He started to grin and asked if he could hold it.
As I handed him the magazine, he lit up and clutched the pages like I had just handed him a high school diploma.
In pure excitement, he began listing off all the people he intended to show the article to when he got off work.
You see, Kenneth served 37 years in prison for a crime he committed as a 17-year-old. As Jocelyn put it, "he's spent his life quietly behind bars for decades trying to become a better man."
We hired Kenneth at BREWED almost two years ago, hoping to help him fulfill his desire to become a better man. I can honestly say, he's been one of our best employees, giving 100% daily. He often leaves his house at 5am to arrive early for his 6am shift.
As I left the shop a few hours later, I noticed Kenneth in the parking lot, washing his car. He told me, "I do not wanna deliver the good news to my friends with dirty wheels."
What I realized as I walked back to my dirty car, was this article was pure validation. It was a concrete, tangible example of all the focus and hard work put in to the past two years in order to turn his life around and create a new life. And now it was on display for all to see.
I was eager to receive my copy of the magazine article that morning, but I received so much more, watching one of my friends becoming the man he was created to be.