#MissionMonday: Tremayne went from prison to published author with help from Goodwill

Tremayne grew up in poverty, and as a result, he was raised by the streets. According to him, he was taught he could do anything by himself.

However, after three stints in prison, he realized he needed help becoming a valued member of society again. After an 11-and-a-half-year sentence for drug trafficking, he enrolled in the MARC Center, a rehabilitation center in Bowling Green. That’s where he learned about Goodwill.

“They would come in and basically help guys get their life together,” he said. “I noticed how the people who worked there went out of their way to help them get their identification, even if you need housing, transportation, anything of that nature. They take pride in helping people.”

Tremayne had never even heard of Goodwill before rehabilitation. But, when he completed MARC, he came to the Bowling Green Opportunity Center for resume writing. After he completed his resume, he took part in the two-week Reintegrating Individuals Successfully Every Day (RISE) Program and was later hired full time by Kobe Aluminum.

“When most people think about Goodwill, they probably think of thrift stores,” he said. “They helped me get a job. They have a passion for what they were doing. There are people who do things just for money, but they have passion.”

With help from Resource Center Manager Traci Houchins and Career Coach Sonya Brown, Tremayne completed RISE and launched his career. He was later offered a position as a program coordinator for Freedom Bridge to Recovery, a nonprofit agency that provides a fresh start for individuals seeking recovery.

“I come from the streets,” he said. “I’ve been to prison three times. That’s really how I was taught – that I could do everything by myself. So, when I got over there and my life was changed, I realized there are good people in the world who really do want to help.”

As program coordinator, Tremayne is able to help individuals with similar backgrounds. He has networked with judges, agencies for public advocacy and more – and since joining Freedom Bridge to Recovery four years ago, he’s helped more than 1,500 individuals find employment in Bowling Green.

When some of his clients had trouble finding transportation, he purchased his own van for $4,000 so that he could get them to and from work.

“I started meeting people that the average person where I’m from wouldn’t gravitate toward,” he said. “Over time, these companies, they became not just my friends, they became my family, just like Goodwill. We all work hand-in-hand to help people. That’s what life is about.”

In addition to his van work, Tremayne has his own business – From Darkness to Light. He later published a book with that title. The book details his childhood, what led him to the streets and his journey through prison and recovery.

“It’s a real-life experience,” he said. “A person being in darkness – and when I gave my life to God, how everything started to change. I started to meet good people, and I stepped into this light. Life has been pretty good ever since.”

The book has been nominated to be included in the fifth edition of the Alcoholics Anonymous book that relays stories of addicts who went through recovery. He has been featured on national radio.

“I didn’t understand just how powerful the book would be,” he said. “Over a month and a half later, the book had more than a million views on Amazon.”

Today, Tremayne uses his days to help people in any way he can – with clothes, food, transportation or counseling. He has eight certifications he uses to help individuals across the country, and he said Goodwill played a big role in his journey.

“My life has completely changed, and it wouldn’t be possible without the people God has put in my life,” he said.