Two nonprofits partner to give men a second chance

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BUCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Two local nonprofits have joined hands on a mission to change lives.

"Getting rid of a few different issues and excuses," said student Mike King. "The worry of not having anything to provide for my son is gone. I know that I'm capable of doing this."

King is one of the students in the Forest Equipment Operator Training School, or FOROP.

"When these folks come in, we're training them to be professional safe operators for a new career and also to help their families," said FOROP CEO Doug Duncan.

Bridge Ministry has been dedicated to helping men with troubled pasts for the past two decades and has started sending students like King to FOROP.

"They've got some of the same objectives that we do, which are to put people on the right track," Duncan said.

"It's given me a lot of confidence knowing I can come from the Bridge and come out here and put my faith to practice while I'm on the job," said student Josh Bolling.

"When you come into this program, you've got to want it, you've got to want to be an operator and want to be the best," said instructor Aaron Barbolish.

Both organizations say the goal is to help the men long term, not just with their careers, but with their lives.

"When these young folks come to us, they're looking for a change. They're looking to have a career not just a job," said Duncan.

"Actually coming out here and learning a trade has been the biggest thing for me just an opportunity for the future," said King. "Something to look forward to that I can progress in, and provide for my family."

"It's been a challenge but it's been fun and I'm looking forward to seeing where it carries me," added Bolling.

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