Extraordinary Talent in Remarkable Circumstances

jane marquardt

Mathis Hearn, artist

The definition of extraordinary is extremely good or impressive, which is an appropriate description of the talent displayed by Mathis Hearns, an offender serving the last six months of his sentence at the Kyle Correctional Center.  The Kyle Correctional Center is located in Kyle Texas and is a drug treatment facility that houses offenders from all over the state.  The facility is operated by Management & Training Corp. (MTC) for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

Offender Hearns came to this facility and quickly stood out among his peers with his talent for art.  The portrait above was an assignment given to Hearns to accomplish, which he did in mere hours.  He was tasked with rendering a pencil drawing of the founder of MTC, Dr. Bob Marquardt, for display in the lobby area.

Jane Marquardt

Warden Deanna Branham with Jane Marquardt, the Vice Chair and daughter of the late Dr. Bob Marquardt.

When interviewed about his abilities and aspirations in life, Hearns admitted to having his talents realized at a young age.  When he was in junior high school, he won several art contests at local rodeos.  He was unable to fulfill his destiny though, when at the age of 16, his mother passed away.  Hearns dropped out of school in the 10th grade and quickly turned to a life of crime to help support his older and younger sisters.  Hearns tried to get his life back on track by entering an art institute for photography but was unsuccessful in removing himself from his former activities.  He was arrested and is now completing his sentence at the drug treatment program.

Mathis Hearns is now 21 years old and will be returning to society after his completion of this program.  When asked what inspiration or words of encouragement he could give to someone, he merely said “think before you act”.  Many can learn from these simple words to realize that every action creates a reaction and has lasting results.  Our only hope is that Mr. Hearns has learned from his mistakes and will go back into society and build upon his extraordinary talents.  He has been given a second chance by receiving the treatment he needs at the Kyle Correctional Center by dedicated staff members that work to improve offenders academic, technical and social skills to become more employable and productive citizens.

Job Corps Celebrates 50 Years

jane-marquardt-job-corpsOn April 21, Job Corps celebrated 50 years of educating and training disadvantaged youth with a ceremonial dinner in Washington, D.C.

Job Corps facilitates collaboration between public offices and private-sector employers to create and cultivate opportunities for young people from underprivileged, underserved communities. Through an emphasis on building job skills and credentials, Job Corps has empowered and benefited over 3 million Americans. Its most effective tools over the last five decades include comprehensive residential, academic, and career preparation programs.

In recognition of Job Corps’ enduring success over the last half-century, students, staff, employers, community stakeholders, and supporters like U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez were in attendance for the evening at the Mellon Auditorium in the nation’s capital. The National Job Corps Association’s Foundation for Youth Opportunities hosted the event.

The celebration honored ten hand-picked Job Corps Graduate Heroes from all over the country, unique in their inspiring tales of courage and determination. Local Job Corps students displayed to the attendees especially crafted building blocks which creatively illustrate how participation in the program is building a brighter future for the United States and supporting so many people in realizing their potential. The night even showcased a 1965 Mustang that had been refurbished by Job Corps students, symbolic of the program’s timelessness as a classic and irreplaceable policy.

Established in 1964 as a facet of the Economic Opportunity Act, Job Corps was a critical apparatus in President Lyndon B. Johnson’s suite of “Great Society” programs. He designed this legislation to battle the pervasiveness of poverty and inequality in the United States. It is rooted in the belief that regardless of the conditions into which a citizen is born, whether they be geographic, economic, or racial, everyone deserves a fair opportunity to work hard and prosper.

The celebration underscored the remarkable history of Job Corps and its role in transforming the social and economic landscape of the impoverished communities, as well as the lives of the young people therein. A number of corporate partners contributed to make the night possible. These included MTC (Management & Training Corporation), Fluor, Dynamic Educational Systems Inc., Education & Training Resources, MINACT Incorporated, Odle Management Group, Horizons Youth Services, Penn Foster, Exceed Corporation, American Business Corporation, Chugach, Texas Educational Foundation Inc., and  Education Management Corporation.