I first met Kevin Grant in my position as a Parole
Administrator for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(CDCR) in Alameda County in 2000. Kevin worked for us as a motivational
speaker at our weekly Police and Corrections Team (PACT) Orientation
meeting's in Oakland, California. PACT is a partnership between Parole,
Oakland Police Department and Community Based Programs. The goal of
this program is to provide re-entry services to recently released parolees
from prisons throughout California. I was immediately impressed with
Kevin's ability to connect with this population and articulate a vision
for success. Kevin has the ability to captivate his audience, often
using a story telling approach. He has provided motivational speaking
for us in Parole Districts located throughout Northern California, such
as Sacramento, Richmond, Vallejo, Stockton, San Francisco, Modesto,
and Yolo County.
I am writing you today in hopes to shine a bit of light on the character of Mr. Kevin Grant. I also wish to share how Kevin has truly touched my life and changed my entire focus.
I met Kevin approximately eighteen months ago. From day one, I knew he was totally genuine. Over a period of six months I witnessed Kevin extend himself to many residents of the Seven Step Program. Being that I too was a resident of the program, I too had the opportunity to hear Kevin’s motivating words. I was always inspired by Kevin’s message. In fact, I find myself sharing many of his ideas and thoughts when I extend myself to the Alameda Youth Programs.
I would like everyone to know that Kevin has been a true friend and mentor. I owe much of my success to Kevin, as he believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. He was always there when things became tough, to assure me that I would overcome my adversities if I merely stayed focused. Like always, he was right.
I could write a book on how wonderful a person Kevin is and all he has done for me. At this point I think I merely want to say; Kevin is a true blessing to my life and all the lives he has touched. In closing I’ll assure you that the world needs more people exactly him. Yes, I want to assure you that I am grateful and enjoy every opportunity I have to be in your company. You’re truly genuine and unique. Remember; continue to reach back, to assure that you’ll never go back.
I became licensed as a Marriage Family Therapist in 2004. As part of my “hands on” training, I took a position with Horizon Community Center where I met Kevin Grant. Kevin was working with the Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Bay Area Service Network running a daily program for parolees who were also chemically dependent. I was a trainee in my second year of graduate studies and decided that I wanted and needed to learn more about chemical dependency issues. I could not have found a better teacher.
During my time working with Kevin, I learned more about chemical dependency treatment than I ever could have from any class or book. Kevin is a real and genuine person and he touches people with his inspiring true stories, knowledge of addiction issues and his ability to accept people and genuinely care for them upon first meeting. I saw many of the people we worked with grow, change, stay clean from substances and often find employment. He is an excellent motivator, instructor and coach. He puts his heart and soul into every group or meeting he facilitates.
Kevin is dynamic, charismatic and strong as well as empathic, caring and kind. These qualities are what make him so successful in all of his endeavors.
Kevin Grant is a masterful speaker. He has the humor and reality-based style of the great motivational speakers like Les Brown. I have seen him get audiences laughing as they relate his stories of being in their shoes. His remarks hit home with groups of parolees week after week. He has the knack of sharing his thoughts and successes, as he tells how he failed over and over before he succeeded in turning his own life around.
Audiences can immediately tell from his stories about himself, that he understands the fears, difficulties, and hopes they have. He talks real to them about the life problems they’ve faced and those to come. He has a way of communicating one-on-one, even in a group of 50-70 parolees. His desire for them to make it on the outside is obvious, and touching.
Kevin has the power of charisma on his side. Every week I see him face a difficult audience—one that was mandated to be at the gathering. They scowl and drag in, then look around to see police and parole officers in the same room. Kevin has the magical ability to take the unenviable position of lead speaker, and use it to stir the audience into thinking of ways and reasons to stay free.
I have seen Kevin Grant speak every week, and never tire of his sessions. His material stays fresh and meaningful, and his sincerity never wanes. I heartily recommend him as a guest speaker for groups trying to address the needs of ex-offenders or those yet to be released. His message is clear, pertinent, and positive. Oakland is lucky to have him as a part of the team.
I am writing this letter regarding Mr. Kevin Grant. I first met Mr. Grant in December 2004. He was introduced to me by Mr. Daniel Soohoo of the Alameda County Juvenile Probation Department. Mr. Soohoo saw an opportunity to create a partnership between Mr. Grant and the Oakland Police Activities League (PAL). Our first meeting was in regards to Mr. Grant conducting his youth probation workshops at the PAL recreation center. Without hesitation, we said yes and saw the partnership as a positive connection. Since that first meeting, Mr. Grant has conducted his workshops at the recreation center every Thursday evening from 5:00-6:00 pm.
I have had the pleasure of listening in on each of his workshops. Mr. Grant has the ability to reach the young people in a way that only someone with his experience can. Listening in on his workshops and observing his tell it like it really is style lead me to solicit his services as the workshop coordinator for “The Oakland Midnight Basketball League.” As police officers, we can say the same things as Mr. Grant, but it will never be received the same because he speaks from experience. Mr. Grant has a powerful message and a great delivery style. His messages are so profound that my fellow officers involved with midnight basketball each week are just as in tuned to the workshops as the players we are trying to keep out of the criminal justice system.
The Oakland PAL partnership with Mr. Kevin Grant is one we will maintain for life. We are working from opposite ends to reach the same goal of saving the lives of the young people of Oakland.
If you have any questions regarding Mr. Grant, you may contact me at:
Oakland PAL Center
I first met Kevin Grant at Medford House, a recovery and transitional housing program for men on parole in Hayward, CA. In my work as a nurse practitioner at Medford House, Kevin has proven to be an invaluable resource and support person for me. Individuals entangled in the legal and correctional systems have multiple needs and problems; no one understands this more deeply than Kevin. Kevin has taught me much about the difficulties formerly incarcerated individuals face as they transition from prison to the free community. The knowledge and wisdom he has shared with me have helped me become a more effective clinician in addressing the many issues in the lives of the patients I care for such as substance use disorders, criminal attitudes and behaviors, employment readiness and family reunification. I have also had the pleasure of giving several talks with Kevin and can attest to his power both as a speaker and as a teacher. His talks are always engaging and thought provoking. He continues to improve and refine his presentations by incorporating new ideas and concepts into his work; Kevin is never stale.
Finally, in everything that Kevin does he brings a deep sense of commitment and compassion to his work and to the people he serves. Kevin is consistently willing to provide whatever information, education, or support is needed to ensure that his clients are as successful as possible. His dedication to helping individuals reengage with their families and reintegrate into their communities has won him well-deserved respect from both formerly incarcerated individuals and professional people alike. I feel fortunate to know him.
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