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The Purpose, Why and the Man behind the Mission

The Purpose of E.A.R.N. the Right is to engage at risk teens and young adults in evidence-based methods and strategies that will significantly increase the teens and young adult’s potential to succeed according to: Transform SC’s “Profile of the South Carolina Graduate,” in the areas of World Class Skills, Life and Career Characteristics.

I have been testing these strategies for decades, most recently as a business owner, and a Top Producer for BMW of Columbia, SC, with expertise in Customer Service.  As I put the program together and talked to local businesses, I found that companies seek to hire employees who possess these skill sets and can enter the modern workforce capable of communicating effectively. I found that teens and young adults entering the workforce today are rarely trained in these skills, especially at-risk youth who deserve an opportunity. This was the beginning of E.A.R.N. the Right.

Since 2009 I have refined my process and have been volunteering in schools, boys’ and girls’ clubs, several SC Department of Juvenile Justice sites throughout the State of South Carolina, homeless youth centers and drug rehabilitation centers, to enhance at risk student’s skills in relationship building, authenticity, commitment and negotiating. I anticipate graduating 800-1200 students annually through my program and tracking their progress for 1-3 years. After nearly a decade of building E.A.R.N. the Right in 3 SC school districts, consisting of 8 different schools, and the Department of Juvenile Justice serving just under 1,000 youth, there is a need to expand the program, and employ paid full-time staff to evaluate the impact on those students that complete the program and apply the principles.

Currently, by teaching our teens and young adults the strategies of E.A.R.N. the Right, I have provided them the opportunity to have a competitive edge and to be better equipped for success in a modern workforce. My relationship with local employers, State government, and community foundations, should make my graduates sought after candidates for local employment opportunities.

Going forward, I know students with strong interpersonal and communication skills will make bigger contributions to their employers and customers, advance into more challenging roles, and find real-world success as they make better decisions. They will be empowered to be engaged citizens for their communities and the world.

As I end every program, I always coach the participants to E.A.R.N. the Right for a second chance, progressing to the next grade, being released from incarceration, getting an interview or advancing in their career, I ask you for this opportunity to intentionally create a high-performance culture of teens and young adults.

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In His Own Words

"The Best thing for me is seeing the wheels turn in a kids head and finally see the light click on; to see the fear when they first start the program and by the second or third session, see them finally engaged. "

— Coach Joe Sicilio, Director + Coach