A Story You Made Possible
"I now have a clear mind to be successful in life and my career."
My name is Brian, and like most people, I certainly appreciate a good meal. But the most memorable meal I ever ate was given to me by a complete stranger — and that meal changed my life.
As a licensed chef from Le Cordon Bleu, an international cooking school in Paris, France, I love to cook. But years ago, I turned my back on cooking to sell drugs — a career move that earned me a seven-year trip to prison. I lost everything I valued: possessions, self-respect, and even my family.
One day in my prison cell, I was really losing it. So I got down and prayed to God: 'If you're real, please take care of me!' But nothing happened … or so I thought.
After I was released from prison, I found myself in Central Park, broke and hungry. A New York City police officer talked to me about The Bowery Mission. She even gave me a meal and a subway ride to get there.
The kindness of that officer changed my life. When I came to The Bowery Mission, my plan was just to get a bed and a hot meal. But then I saw all the men struggling with addictions, trying to get their lives together, and I realized I was guilty of poisoning the lives of people just like them.
When I saw what I had done to people, I turned my back on drugs and entered the Mission's program. With the help of the staff and my counselors, I landed a position as head chef for the New York School of Urban Ministry in Queens. Now I'm even helping organize teams to go out into the community to feed the homeless!
Looking back, I remember that day in prison when I prayed and thought nothing happened. But something did happen. God did answer my prayer. Thanks to The Bowery Mission, I now have a clear mind and the focus to be successful in life and my career.