CBS Feature: Roy Castro Once Sold Drugs, But Thanks To STRIVE New York He Now Sells Nothing But Happiness

STRIVE Graduate Recognized for Leadership & Perseverance 

STRIVE Featured on CBS Evening News, April 1, 2016

Graduate Roy Castro Shares His Story on The Never Settle Show

STRIVE: 30 Years of Impact

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on STRIVE


STRIVE Receives CBS Grant to Support Eliminating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
December 14, 2018

US Department of Labor Selects STRIVE to Support Reentry Projects to Transition Into the Workforce 
US Department of Labor
June 26, 2018

Mayor Landrieu Celebrates Last STRIVE NOLA Graduation of his Administration
New Orleans Business Alliance
April 6, 2018

Brian Friedman and Bonnie Howard appointed to leadership positions on the Board of Directors of STRIVE International
Press Release
April 3, 2018

STRIVE Unveils New State-of-the-Art Training Center in East Harlem
Press Release
March 8, 2018

STRIVE International to Host Manhattan Roundtable with NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
Press Release
January 19, 2018

STRIVE Graduate Roy Castro, CEO of DM Ice Cream Corporation, Appointed to STRIVE Board of Directors
Press Release
January 8, 2018

Governor Cuomo Announces More Than $755 Million in Economic and Community Development Resources Awarded Through 2017 Regional Council Competition
New York State Press Release
December 13, 2017

Job Training Programs Shouldn't Overlook Small Businesses
Next City
December 11, 2017

TCWFI Named as STRIVE Partner in $4.5 Million Reentry Grant
The Center for Working Families, Inc. 
December 7, 2017

STRIVE Awarded $4.5. Million Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor's Reentry Projects Initiative
Press Release
November 29, 2017

Workforce Referral Networks: The Hot New Approach to Local Hiring
City Limits
November 15, 2017

Leveraging the Teachable Moments
Prosperity Now
November 8, 2017

STRIVE Selected as Grant Recipient of Inaugural Pathways to Progress Youth Financial Capability Fund to Support Young People on Path to Economic Success
Press Release
November 8, 2017

Growth for all: Public-private partnerships help New Orleanians thrive
October 18, 2017

Jeffrey McGee: Facilities Manager & Formerly Incarcerated Drug Dealer
Working America
October 3, 2017

The Starbucks Foundation 2017 “Opportunity for All” Partnerships
August 16, 2017

STRIVE Names David Melendez National Vice President, Development & Communications
Press Release
August 7, 2017

New York City Nonprofit Partners with Cornell University to Help Close Unemployment Gap, Prepare Underserved Youth for Foodservice and Hospitality Jobs
Press Release
July 20, 2017

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s family owns Fast Money on Celebrity Family Feud
Entertainment Weekly
July 8, 2017

US Department of Labor Announces Over $72M in Grants to Improve Employment Opportunities for Justice-Involved Individuals
U.S. Department of Labor
June 27, 2017

City Hosts Fourteenth STRIVE NOLA Graduation
Press Release
June 9, 2017

Developers Fund New Rochelle Job Center
Westfair Communications
June 1, 2017

New Rochelle Launches “First Source Referral Center”
Press Release
May 26, 2017

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Talks Resilience with Local Job Skills Trainees
The New Orleans Advocate
May 9, 2017

What do you do? 'Working' Exhibit asks 24 People Across America
Chicago Tribune
May 8, 2017

Goldman Sachs Professionals Help Jobs Training Program
Goldman Sachs Careers Blog
May 4, 2017

JPMorgan Chase Invests in Health Care Job Training
Crain’s Health Pulse
April 26, 2017

Edward M. Powell Named Executive Director of JRI’s STRIVE Boston
Press Release
April 20, 2017

JPMorgan Chase Commits $8.6 Million to Fill Well-Paying, High-Demand Healthcare Jobs
Business Wire
April 20, 2017

After a Troubled Childhood, a High School Dropout gets Sweet Redemption
Crain’s New York Business
April 5, 2017

Job Training, Placement Program Seeks Flint Residents
M Live News
March 31, 2017

Mayor de Blasio Announces Re-Entry Services for Everyone in City Jails by End of This Year
Press Release
March 29, 2017

Mayor Landrieu Announces STRIVE Future Leaders Program Supporting Youth Involved in Justice Systems
Press Release
March 16, 2017

Philip Weinberg on Dollars & Change
Wharton Business Radio
March 7, 2017

DA Vance Invests $58 Million In Youth And Families To Prevent Crime
Press Release
February 27, 2017

STRIVE Names Three New Members to Its Board of Directors
Press Release
January 13, 2017

STRIVE – Teaching ‘Soft Skills’
Moultrie News
November 28, 2016

New York Companies Profit from Giving Away Their Time
Crain’s New York
November 22, 2016

Crowell & Moring Partner Paul J. Pollock Receives Lawyers Alliance for New York 2016 Cornerstone Award for Pro Bono Service
Crowell & Moring
November 21, 2016

STRIVE Celebrates Dads With Comedy and Inspiration
Press Release
November 18, 2016

Second Chance Act Grantees Receive DOL Grants to Continue Reentry Efforts
Council of State Governments
October 25, 2016

The Step UP Network Brings STRIVE International for the First Time to South Carolina
Press Release
August 9, 2016

Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance Announce 2016 Youth Opportunity Fund Grant Recipients in 10 U.S. Cities
Press Release
August 4, 2016

East Harlem Talent Network Celebrates 100th Placement
Press Release
July 29, 2016

The Starbucks Foundation Awards $1.3 Million in Opportunity for Youth Grants
Press Release
July 13, 2016

US Labor Department announces $64.5m in grants as part of Obama Administration’s efforts to break cycle of poverty, crime and incarceration
U.S. Department of Labor
June 24, 2016

From broken to breaking through
June 8, 2016

Trust Gives $11 Million to 80 Nonprofits in Year’s Biggest Round of Grants
New York Community Trust
June 6, 2016

Program aims to get young people of color ready for the job market
CBS Evening News w/Scott Pelley
April 1, 2016

Nonprofits Picked to Participate in Chirlane McCray’s Mental-Health Initiative
Crain’s New York Business
March 11, 2016

Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City Selects 14 Community-Based Organizations Citywide to Join $30 Million Connections to Care Partnership
Press Release
March 11, 2016

Jobs for Minorities (Letter to the Editor)
The New York Times
March 3, 2016

East Harlem Workforce Development Initiative to Place 180 Individuals in Jobs by Spring 2017
Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone
December 3, 2015

Center for Urban Families launches workforce development program at West Baltimore School
The Baltimore Sun
November 16, 2015

STRIVE Celebrates 30 Years of Transforming Lives Through Employment
Press Release
November 12, 2015

The Importance of Job Training Programs and STEM Programs in NYC
New York Amsterdam News
October 15, 2015

AT&T, STRIVE, and Assemblyman Wright Celebrate Success of Students Graduating From Job Readiness Program
AT&T News Release
September 18, 2015

Unrealistic child support orders hurt rather than help
The Baltimore Sun
August 2015

Could This Program Stem Surging Violence at Rikers Island?
July 2015

Aim to B’More Press Conference @ CFUF (w/Baltimore State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, Esq.)
May 2015

‘Strive New Orleans’ program offers its graduates hope as well as job skills
The New Orleans Advocate
May 2015

Rikers Program Provides “Green Technology” Job Training, Placements
The Justice Center: The Council of State Governments
April 2015

Prison Program A Start For Malloy’s ‘Second Chance Society’
Hartford Courant
April 2015

Rikers Inmates Graduate Pilot Re-Entry Program
January 2015





Kerry wanted to build a future he could be excited about, but facing a four-year sentence on Rikers, he felt like he couldn’t. His facilitator at STRIVE convinced him to try.

Kerry joined our youth program and quickly proved how dedicated he was. He came to class professionally dressed every day and gave it his all during internships and temporary work assignments. Due to his hard work and exceptional growth in character, Kerry’s sentence was reduced from four years to just eight months.

Kerry has now been home for a month. He has a job at Friends of the Island Academy, where he refers his clients to STRIVE, saying STRIVE is “the best out there for young adults.” He is taking college courses at Columbia University and creating the future he always wanted for himself—and his five-year-old daughter. He is grateful to STRIVE for never leaving his side and giving him as many chances as he needed to “get it together,” and we are grateful to him for being a great youth ambassador and for remembering us during every step of his path to success.



“I recommend STRIVE to anyone who wants to be better tomorrow than they are today.”

While in prison, Brett decided to change his life. Two days after he was released, his cousin told him about STRIVE. During his stay in our program, Brett earned his construction certification while learning how to speak, dress, and carry himself with confidence. After a six-week internship at STRIVE, he found a job and is now able to support himself.

“The atmosphere at STRIVE is bright and like a breath of fresh air,” Brett said at the end of his internship. He is eager to bring this positive energy into his new job and the next stage of his life.

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Shaquava came to STRIVE without direction. She had some college credits but not a degree or enough work experience, and she struggled with insecurity and low self-esteem.

At STRIVE, Shaquava blossomed, revealing herself to be a very driven individual. She found her confidence, impressed our employer partners, and began to plan her return to college. When she considered letting her insecurities get the best of her and settling for jobs she didn’t want, our team worked with her to make sure she was confident in her abilities and ready for the career she wanted. And Shaquava’s hard work paid off: this month, she has started a job at Beam Living!

Shaquava is completely elated with her accomplishments and excited about her new position. STRIVE is proud to provide individuals like Shaquava the guidance they need to set their lives on the path they dream of.

"STRIVE has changed the trajectory of my life," Shaquava says. "Without STRIVE, my journey could be full of a lot more mistakes and a lot less opportunities."



Jeanette had dreams of having her own office one day, with her degrees framed on the wall. But she didn't have the opportunity to achieve those dreams. Then she found STRIVE.

At STRIVE, Jeanette learned the skills she needed, from using Microsoft Office to creating a resume to life lessons like how to take responsibility and feel confident in her abilities. With the help of STRIVE's trainers, she realized that she could fulfill her amibitions and do anything.

Just two weeks after graduating, Jeanette was hired at a law firm, and the skills she had gained at STRIVE helped her thrive. While working, she went backt o school to get a degree in Business Management, studied abroad in China and Tibet, and has now bought a home with her husband and son. Now she works at Viacom and holds and MBA, and she's dreaming even bigger.

"I am so grateful to STRIVE for opening the door that started me on the path to a life I had dreamed of since I was a teenager," Jeanette said. "There are more doors to unlock, and I am enjoying the journey!"



Ryan wasn’t ready when he found himself as the sole caregiver for his young daughter. Gaining full custody took up most of his days, forcing him to leave his job. He needed help, and STRIVE was there for him.

STRIVE was able to provide for his daughter’s immediate needs, such as a warm coat and school supplies. Ryan also enrolled in STRIVE’s program to learn how to build a health relationship with his daughter, and we were able to help him find a job that matched his skills and his schedule.

Since completing our program, Ryan has reported that his daughter is doing very well and that she has become much more positive as she adjusts to her new life with her father.

We are so proud of Ryan and all of our STRIVE parents who come to STRIVE to build better lives for themselves and their families.



“I need a job!” were Isaac’s first words when he came to STRIVE. “I’m tired of this life, and I need something to happen, like, yesterday.”

When Isaac enrolled at STRIVE, he was in a drug treatment program, living in a shelter, attending school five nights a week, and working during weekends. When our staff asked him how he would be able to commit to STRIVE’s program with everything else he had on his plate, he responded, “I’ll do whatever it takes.”

Isaac was true to his word. He graduated with his OSHA 30 and completed a paid internship, all with perfect attendance. He also finished his drug treatment program during this time. He expected to celebrate this accomplishment alone, but on the day of his graduation from the drug treatment program, his STRIVE case manager was there to support him. Isaac realized then that at STRIVE, there were people who truly cared about him.

Isaac hit a setback that, according to him, would have normally caused a relapse. But now, with the support system he had at STRIVE, he was able to continue forward—and it paid off. He was offered a full-time position with the company that he interned for, and he is now on a path to independent living.

This is just the beginning of Isaac's story. We are extremely proud of his progress, and will always be here to support him on his journey.

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After obtaining full custody of his daughter, Dan wanted to provide the best life he could for her. He took full advantage of STRIVE’s resources, coming to every family engagement activity, and finishing the program with his Security Certification and License.

Shortly after graduating our program, Dan was the victim of an illegal eviction, forcing him to move into a shelter with his daughter. He then sustained an injury that left him unable to work. But Dan was determined to give his daughter a bright future, so he came back to STRIVE for help. Our staff worked with Dan to find permanent housing for himself and his daughter and helped him find a with the Department of Homeland Security, where he is currently up for promotion. With the healthy relationship skills that he learned at STRIVE, Dan was even able to set up a visitation schedule so his daughter could bond with her mother.

Dan is happy with the life he has built for his family, and he has big dreams for his future.



After Betty returned home from prison, she spent every day looking for work. Week after week, she submitted applications, but employers were not calling her back. One day, Betty noticed a STRIVE flyer at her probation office, and she immediately called to enroll.

STRIVE’s program inspired Betty to become more than her time in prison. She learned to draw energy from her surroundings and bring positive intent to everything she did. Just a few weeks after completing the program, she was hired at Big Easy Bucha, where she has now been employed for over a year.

Betty still uses what she learned at STRIVE every day, and she passes her knowledge along to her coworkers. She loves sharing her story with her team and encourages them to begin every day with purpose by sharing an inspirational word or quote, just like she learned at STRIVE.

Betty wanted to do the same for you:

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” —Ella Fitzgerald



"I need to get my life together."

Daniel said this when starting at STRIVE. When he was in high school, his life turned upside down, taking him from his comfortable life in Harlem to homelessness. He could only find short-term work to provide for his wife and child, and he was dissatisfied with the path he was on.

When he found STRIVE, something in Daniel changed. As he trained for a career in health and office administration, he saw his talents come alive and began to dream bigger for himself. He even invited his wife to join the program with him.

Daniel and his wife have now both celebrated a year of work at Northwell Health and are looking to advance their careers further. He has become a leader at STRIVE, giving back through the mentoring program and speaking at the May 2019 graduation. Having overcome poverty and homelessness, Daniel is now proud of how he supports his family and is a leader in his community.



After serving in Afghanistan, Lloyd struggled to find purpose in his post-military life. He suffered from PTSD and had trouble connecting with other people. Feeling lonely and isolated, Lloyd wanted to find his place in his community again, so he came to STRIVE to figure out his next steps.

STRIVE provided Lloyd with the community he was looking for, and the mental health support and skills training that he needed to overcome barriers to employment. He completed our Green Construction & Maintenance career pathway program, participated in STRIVE’s mentoring group, and met regularly with mental health workers. With the support and skills he found at STRIVE, Lloyd found employment at Spring Scaffolding and began to believe in his future again. Now, he has the tools and guidance needed to provide for himself and his family and continue his journey forward.

STRIVE is proud to provide those who have served in the military with resources and pathways to employment when they return home.



Dwight came to STRIVE after hitting rock bottom: he had trouble finding employment due to his criminal history, he didn’t have housing, and his wife and children abruptly left him. He felt hopeless in interviews because he didn’t have professional clothing and believed no one would hire him after finding out about his criminal background. He had been referred to STRIVE years before, but walked out of the classroom.

Dwight decided to give the program another try. This time, he graduated receiving his OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 construction certifications. His confidence grew, and he began exploring opportunities he hadn’t tried before. He was given a brand new suit for interviews, and STRIVE’s career coach, inspired by his ambition and determination, searched for opportunities that would open up a long-term career for him. After a few weeks of searching, Dwight’s career coach found him a job at IONA College. Dwight has since come back to STRIVE as a volunteer, giving back to the community that gave him the hope to build a life he could be proud of.

Recently, the City of New Rochelle honored Dwight at their State of the City for his hard work, dedication, and transformation into society. After a long, difficult journey, Dwight has successfully been able to reenter the workforce, be a part of his community, and build a life he is proud of.



At age 22, single mother Elise and her daughter Ayanna found themselves with no stable housing and no plans for their future. Elise decided she wanted a better life for her daughter, and with Ayanna as motivation, sheobtained an accounting certificate, got a job, and began to save money for Ayanna’s education. She met her husband and had two more children.

Then in 2011, Elise was laid off, and despite looking for a whole year, she couldn’t find a new job. That’s when she saw a STRIVE flyer that said STRIVE would help her upgrade her computer skills.

At STRIVE, Elise received so much more than computer skills training—she found a huge network of opportunities and the belief that she could achieve anything she wanted. After graduating, she was hired on the spot at an interview with Mount Sinai and has been working there ever since.

In 2017, Elise came back to STRIVE for advancement training, which led her to a promotion. She returned to school to get a degree in Medical Administration. She took part in STRIVE’s financial literacy workshop, started planning for retirement, and became a Harlem homeowner.

Elise was so inspired by everything she found at STRIVE that she wanted to share all she had gained. She has spoken at STRIVE’s Women’s Empowerment Luncheon and volunteered with STRIVE at Riker’s Island. All of her children are now college graduates—Ayanna graduated Magna Cum Laude and now works at Bank of America and is a proud STRIVE supporter.

Elise’s ambition and tenacity have rippled out to positively shape the lives of her family and community. With opportunities like STRIVE provides, mothers like her can change the story for generations to come.

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At the age of 16, DeAsia was on her own, bouncing from state to state looking for work opportunities. She had been through personal trauma, was struggling to earn a living, suffered from depression. She decided to join the military, hoping to find fulfillment through service of her country, but plans changed when she became pregnant with her son, Jeremiah. Jeremiah became her reason to live as she wanted to build a better life for him.

DeAsia and her son were staying in a domestic violence shelter when a counselor sent her to STRIVE to get back on track. Her life changed the moment she walked through STRIVE’s door. She got the training she needed to thrive and found the support system she'd been missing. “I was feeling revived. Someone finally believed in me—and that person was me,” DeAsia said.

Through STRIVE, DeAsia was able to find housing and was hired at Northwell Health where she has been working ever since. She has published three books of poetry and is working on a novel. And she now holds a double Master’s in Healthcare Administration and Business Management. STRIVE is proud to lift up women like her, who have so much to offer when given the opportunities and support they need.

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Vanessa grew up with great aspirations, but when she was in college, her life turned upside down. Her father disappeared, and she went through personal traumatic events. She felt stuck and needed something to help her through the dark times and make her aspirations of building a healthcare career into a reality. That’s when she heard about STRIVE and started the career pathways program with a focus on Health & Office Operations.

“The STRIVE program was eye-opening… and hard,” Vanessa said. “I learned lessons at STRIVE that I continue to use every day. My trainer taught us that life is 10% of what happens to you but it’s 90% of how you choose to respond. It’s our choices in life that make the biggest difference.”

Vanessa completed STRIVE’s program with an internship at Mount Sinai Health System, after which she was hired there full-time. She has worked at Mount Sinai ever since, but she has also come back to STRIVE for further training and advanced in her job. She will be graduating from City College with a degree in Psychology this May. STRIVE is proud of Vanessa and her determination to succeed!



When Shynice was 23, she lost both of her parents. Soon, she was struggling as a single mother to her son Jaheel and surviving on public assistance. Shynice dreamed of supporting her family by working in the medical field like her mother, but without a degree, training, or guidance, she didn’t know where to start.

What Shynice did have was a determination to build a better life. She happened upon information about STRIVE’s medical billing program and started the program with a focus on healthcare. She gained the skills she needed but more importantly, she found a support system and learned the importance of a positive attitude, taking initiative, and believing in herself.

When Shynice graduated, she put what she learned to work right away. STRIVE helped her get an internship with Modern MD Urgent Care, which turned into a full-time job and a promotion. She has returned to STRIVE to receive 10 professional certifications to advance her career and started a college fund for Jaheel. One day she hopes to start her own medical billing company.

“When I came to STRIVE, I was like a caterpillar,” she says. “When I left I had wings, and I’ve been flying ever since.”



Donisha’s probation officer referred her to STRIVE shortly after she lost her job. She had work experience, but with a ten-year-old son with autism, she couldn’t just take any job. She needed one that would allow her to care for him and create a good life for them both. “I just need support and a little help getting started again,” she said.

She proved herself to be a confident, warm, hard worker. Within the first week of the workshop, Donisha was offered two jobs, but turned them down because they didn’t allow her to provide her son with the right care. “They were not a good fit for me,” she explained. “My decisions have to make sense for my son.”

Donisha returned to STRIVE and finished the program, and she didn’t given up on finding a job that was right for her. She had been studying for the United States Postal Service Exam. During the last week of the program, she took the exam, passed and was offered a job within hours! Now, she is building the life she wants for herself and her son.

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In 2012, Melissa lost her home, car, and job to Hurricane Sandy. She spent several months trying to regain control of her life. Things changed when a friend introduced her to STRIVE.

STRIVE allowed Melissa to begin a journey towards employment and rebuilding the life that Hurricane Sandy took away. She completed the Green Construction program with 10 industry-recognized credentials and participated in several other STRIVE workshops, including workplace expectations, financial literacy, and educational advancement.

After graduating, Melissa was hired as a maintenance worker at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and kept networking to find the right opportunity for her career. She found a job a PW Grosser Consulting and has been promoted several times, now working as the Senior Hydro Environmental Tech. She loves her job and is excited about her future.



Arteasha has faced many challenges since she was 16 years old: drug addiction, homelessness, childcare issues, financial trouble. She struggled to get her life back on track and provide for her child, until one day she reconnected with a friend in New Orleans, who shared a similar story of hardship. But her friend found STRIVE, a career, a home, and a new life. Arteasha felt inspired to come to STRIVE herself.

Arteasha completed STRIVE NOLA's program and an internship at AshéCac in February, after which she was hired full-time. Despite everything she has been through, she has proven herself to be a hard worker who constantly goes above and beyond.

“It was tough to remain consistent because I have a history of starting things and not finishing them, even when I know it’s the best option for me,” Arteasha said. “The STRIVE staff and my friend’s success with STRIVE inspired me to find the strength within me to complete the program. I am so pleased with my accomplishments.”



In 2018, Derrek joined STRIVE's Fatherhood program. He wanted to reconnect with his children and grandchildren and be part of their lives on a deeper level. He also had maintenance experience, but needed to get back on his feet and reenter the workforce.

Derrek thrived at STRIVE; he made fast friends with his quick wit and brought valuable insight to class discussions. When he graduated, he put these skills to use and now has a career at Columbia University.

Derrek continues to pay it forward, keeping STRIVE updated of events and job fairs, and we are grateful for his hard work and positivity.

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Jose was a hard worker without the opportunity to legally work. He put his energy into selling drugs, and he ended up incarcerated at Rikers Island. At Rikers, he began STRIVE’s SMART program. His near-perfect attendance and valuable insight caught the attention of the SMART Coordinator, who offered him an internship position in his housing unit at Rikers. Jose excelled at his position until his release, while also completing the SMART program and obtaining several construction credentials.

One week after leaving Rikers, Jose came to STRIVE for a hiring event. An employer from Building Skills NY was so impressed with him that she hired him on the spot!

STRIVE gave Jose the chance to put his skills and work ethic into creating a life for himself. We are proud to be a part of his journey.

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Daniel wanted to be a good father and role model to his son, but after spending time in prison and dealing with addiction, he struggled to find a job, and the two of them lived in the homeless shelter system for a number of years. Then one day in 2014, he saw a STRIVE flyer and was so excited he came to STRIVE that very day.

At STRIVE, Daniel learned how to write a resume and give an interview. He earned his construction certification, and he gained a sense of confidence and hope. After he graduated, he was hired by Forrest Solutions. He also graduated from STRIVE’s Strong Fathers, Stronger Families program and gained important skills to care for his son both financially and emotionally. He was soon able to secure permanent housing and hire childcare to take care of his son.

Since then, Daniel has been promoted twice and continued to be a wonderful father. He has also been an amazing ambassador for STRIVE and parents everywhere—just last month, he spoke at Aspen Ascend. We are so proud of Daniel’s hard work and care for others.