DENVER – Like the men and women in the organization she created helps, Josephine Burton knows what it’s like to be in jail. She was once sentenced to seven years of community corrections and spent two years in jail.
Once that chapter of her life was over, Josephine said she ran into multiple challenges as she tried to get her life back on track.
“I struggled to get employment, because of my criminal background,” she said. “I was struggling in the fields of trying to get a job that would fit me in and help take care of my, you know, my family.”
Josephine did eventually conquer the job and mental health challenges she faced in getting her life headed in the right direction. It wasn’t easy, and she knew she needed to do something to help others who faced the same obstacles. That’s why she founded The Nxt Chapter.
“We will connect you with all the resources for mental health. We will connect you with resources for employment. We will connect you with resources for vocational and educational training,” she said before smiling and adding, “And our GED program right now is awesome.”
One of The Nxt Chapter’s first clients was Kenny Harris. He is now the organization’s youth director.
“When they first started The Nxt Chapter, they provided resources where it got me some clothes for interviews,” Kenny recalled. “I've been working on that same job that they supply for me and what they gave me a reference to.”
The organization has grown a lot since those early years, but Kenny said it is Josephine’s heart and dedication that keep The Nxt Chapter moving forward.
- To learn more about The Next Chapter and how you can help, click here.
“She's a great individual. Got a big heart. She cares," he said.
Josephine said it is success stories like Kenny’s that keep her doing what she feels is her obligation to others – although she said it only works if the people The Nxt Chapter is helping want the help.
“It's not done for the recognition," she said. “To be able to put your life back on track is just amazing. You gotta want it though.”
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