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#NiceWork VOW! VOW Transportation doesn’t just help its passengers get where they need to go, it gives them the opportunity to achieve more. Vision of Winning (VOW) and its founder and CEO, Lorenzo Stewart Sr. of Washington D.C, knows a thing or two about how important these opportunities can be.  

After spending years in and out of jail, Stewart was having trouble finding a job. “Nothing solid ever came through,” he explained in an interview with Courtland Milloy of the Washington Post. In addition to having a record, Stewart, struck by a stray bullet at 15 uses a wheelchair. With the support of a loving family, Stewart realized that in order to achieve success he needed to become his own boss. Fortunately, D.C. has started an incredible and kind program: Aspire to Entrepreneurship. This partnership between District agencies and Changing Perceptions provides ex-offenders with the necessary tools to start their own businesses. It believes in people to make a change for themselves. In December of 2016, Stewart got the loan he needed to make a difference (WUSA9)

Stewart didn’t take this opportunity lightly. He took the kindness that was shown to him by D.C.’s program and decided to create something amazing with it. VOW isn’t your average business. This organization helps people with disabilities, seniors, and students with their transportation needs, a mission inspired by Stewart’s own life. VOW even offers free services. Because Stewart knows firsthand the importance of family support, he provides rides to people who want to visit their family members in prisons. Demand is high, so he’s hoping expansion is in his future. As of June 2017, he operates three 15-seat vans.

“It’s true that when we give returning citizens the right set of skills and opportunities, they will flourish,” D.C. Deputy Mayor Courtney R. Snowden said. Inspired by this story? Push for your state to support entrepreneurship programs like the one that helped Stewart in D.C. There are surely more kind organizations and people to be discovered.

 

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