As a child, Marcellus Colon remembers his mother giving him sweet bell peppers while dancing to Michael Jackson. That fond memory sparked a passion for cooking and creativity that continues today. From painting to food, presentation is a key ingredient in each of his artistic offerings. “Anybody can cook,” he notes, “but…to bring it out and make it look good is my greatest passion.”
Unfortunately, challenges with substance use could have hindered Marcellus from presenting his talents to the world. Though he attended college at Miami International University of Art and Design, he began to accrue criminal charges related to these challenges, altering his life’s course.
Finally, a move to New York spearheaded a deep desire to change. Now, he is receiving substance use treatment from Samaritan Daytop Village. It is there that he learned about The Fortune Society and enrolled in its Employment Services program. Through culinary arts classes, his love for creativity is sparked again. With it are pathways to building a life-sustaining future.
As soon as Marcellus stepped into Fortune, he knew it was a place where he belonged. Being around people who looked like him and shared his experiences made the possibility of success more evident.
In a welcoming atmosphere, Marcellus is working hard to prepare for the next chapter in his life. Mock interviewing, a key part of Fortune’s employment success preparation, gave him constructive criticism to increase his appeal to prospective employers. Plus, he obtained certifications with the New York City Department of Health, further placing him on a path to a successful culinary career.
Equipped with new tools, Marcellus dreams of opening up a café and gallery space that will combine his love of food with visual art. His dream space will also have a social component that can help others the way Fortune has helped him:
Walking in a new direction of his own, Marcellus’ future and talents have never looked more promising.
*Written by Root Stitches LLC