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Meet our July Specialist of the Month: Charles Knox

Meet our Specialist of the Month winner for July, Charles Knox, a Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) out-of-school specialist from Peckham Flint Youth Academy. Charles has been a JMG Specialist for almost 3 years and has been making a huge impact in the lives of the youth he serves. We asked several questions so you can get to know Charles better: 

Why did you become a JMG Specialist?

I became a JMG Specialist to help empower youth to achieve better academic performance, economic success, health, community engagement, and civic participation. 

What inspires you about your job?

The desire to support at-risk adolescents from various backgrounds and help them reach their full potential is a huge motivation.  

Recall a favorite memory about being a specialist. (an event, a youth accomplishment, etc.)

My favorite memory about being a specialist is watching a student enter the program with so many barriers, and broken family structures, and leave the program on a positive trajectory in life.  This student was separated from his mother due to homelessness, and financial strongholds.  Despite the many obstacles, this student was able to achieve great academic achievement and obtain employment to help offset living expenses to reunite with his mother. 

What is one of the greatest challenges you face in your job?

One of the greatest challenges I face on the job is juvenile recidivism.  Many factors play into this destructive pathway.  Examples consist of the pressures of materialism, environmental issues, character deficiency, mental health challenges, and a failure to succeed in education. 

What is one of the greatest highlights/joys of your job?

One of the greatest joys of my job is to make connections with youth, creating a sense of safety and stability by educating them about the possibilities in life.  Our whole community is better when all youth are safe, have stability, and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.  

Why do you think JMG is so important for youth?

JMG is an educational recovery intervention, an important tool that helps struggling students graduate earning their high school diploma, and helps students progress to productive careers or advanced education.  JMG ignites a fire under talented students.  Determined to live the lives that were once unimaginable, JMG graduates make bright futures come true. 

Share your hobbies: Do you have any pets, what do you like to do in your spare time, etc.

A few of my hobbies are collecting African Art & Artifacts and I have an extensive shoe and jersey collection! I have a pet Maltese Poodle.  I also have a 40-gallon aquarium stocked with African Cichlid fish and spotted catfish.  In my spare time, I enjoy fishing, cardio fitness, listening to music, reading, and relaxing playing the piano and Hammond organ.  

Share a couple of random facts to get to know you better.  

I was born and reared in Flint Michigan.  I am a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Africology and African American Studies, and Communications.  I enjoy worshipping in church while I play the piano and organ.  

Share a Fun Fact about yourself.

I am a Barber!  I have completed the State requirements for Barbering in the State of North Carolina by the Board of Barbers Examiners.  

Nominations are open to ALL, including our employer partners! If you know a phenomenal specialist, we encourage you to nominate them as our June Specialist of the month.

Nominate a specialist who deserves to be recognized, here.


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