Man Cooks up Recipe for Success

1 decade 7 months 1 day ago February 23, 2006 Feb 23, 2006 Thursday, February 23 2006 Thursday, February 23, 2006 5:09:03 PM CST in News

Johnny Burns works at Regional Catering, a Moberly business that feeds up to 2,000 people a day. But,  Burns doesn't cook there. He's the custodian who makes sure even trash cans are spotless.

Burns had a difficult past and, at one point, struggled to find any job. When he found Job Point, he found the right recipe to start a career.

"He made some poor choices in life in his past life and everything," said Becky Curre-Roe, Job Point advisor. "So, he was kind of doubtful that he would be able to get employment."

Other people saw Burns has talent, but didn't know how to use it.

"There were a lot of issues involving self-confidence and self-esteem. Lack of insight," said Larry Brady of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Burns appreciated the help.

"They tried to help me get in touch with anything I need, like doctors or anything like that," he explained.

Burns had a head injury as a boy and, until Job Point referred him to a doctor, had no idea he has bi-polar disorder.

Burns had no transportation, no health insurance, no way to get medication or even something as simple as eyeglasses.

His boss, Virgil Thurston, helped him find the tools to get a grasp on job skills.

"Johnny's very dependable and reliable," said Thurston, the owner of Regional Catering. "He's honest. I felt like the boy was really serious. And honestly, he needed the job, and nobody had ever taken tried to put a little time into him and teach him something. So I saw an opportunity to do that, so we done it."

Burns has worked at Regional Catering for more than a year. After a lifetime of problems, he credits Job Point for helping him cope.

"They've definitely changed my life, getting into the program," said Burns. "You know, they've made sure I'm a more stable person. I'm a more healthy person."

Added Brady, "I can't wait until the program and to see the results on his face when he sees himself up there and actually getting the award. I'm so proud of him. So proud of him."

Burns' work paid off with his winning an Award of Excellence.

"Don't give up. Be honest with yourself," Burns recommended. "Don't let yourself, or anyone else, tell you that you can't do something. It's just definitely don't give up."

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