Calvin got wind of Clarke’s strong social work program and made the 1,100 mile journey to Dubuque.
But for a stranger in a strange land, Calvin made a group of close friends almost immediately. That works for Calvin, who was looking for a place more laid back. Judging by his daily routine, he found it. Most mornings he can be seen jogging down the bluff to the local coffee shop, where the employees greet him like an old friend. Then a stroll around Dubuque might be in order.
“People on the street will actually stop and talk to you. At first I was surprised by it, because no one does that back home,” he said.
That could just be Calvin, who said he’s always been a “fixer” and the guy that everybody is comfortable talking to. That’s especially important in social work.
Although he doesn’t think he’ll change the world (we think he’s being modest), Calvin wants to take that energy to the prison system and make a difference however he can.
“I got into lots of trouble as a kid and saw some of the corruption in the system,” he said, “and that’s when I decided to dedicate my life to it.”
Clarke’s program has him counseling youths in the juvenile court system. He believes the experience and networking opportunities have really helped get his foot in the door.
Not that he may need it. Calvin’s counseling, like his time in Iowa, is good because it has been built on real experiences.
“I was your typical 18-year-old kid that thought he knew everything. Then I realized I can do this when I really try,” he said.