Remembering Mike

Brad Gasser Profile
Article by Brad Gasser
Top Quality Coordinator

He got the job! We celebrated together on this great news — Mike would get the chance to make a new beginning and start a career!

Flashback to the summer of 2016: my second summer at Gateway Woods — this time as the Top Quality Coordinator. My job was to lead a crew of 3 residents on various landscaping jobs, and help teach them work and life skills. I became very close with one of the young men on my crew, “Mike”. We shared a lot with each other throughout the summer. He told me about his unfortunate and heartbreaking past, but then rebounded with all the things he was going to do to make the rest of his life better. He talked of overcoming his past and all the tasks he was going to accomplish. At the end of the summer, we celebrated our hard work and our friendship by going on a fishing trip. A few days later, I packed up and headed back to Ohio to start my career as a teacher.

Fast forward a year and a half to January of 2018. I was driving in my car, reflecting about the experiences I have had in my life, and how life has changed as I progress through my career. What is God’s plan for me? As I was reflecting, I thought back to Gateway. Gateway Woods: the place that truly “turns lives around”. I wondered about my Top Quality crew. How were they doing right now? Are they holding on to the truths planted in them while at Gateway? Almost immediately, my cell phone rang. It was a number I didn’t recognize from Indiana. I answered and the first words I heard were, “Brad…it’s Mike, do you remember me?” I was so surprised to have received this call, I almost shouted back into the phone “YES! OF COURSE I REMEMBER YOU!” He proceeded to tell me how he was doing and asked me if I could fill out a letter of recommendation for a job he was trying to apply for. I immediately told him I would. I was so thankful he had reached this point in his life and gave him all the information he needed.

We went ahead and talked for a while, reminiscing on the times we had together at Gateway and catching each other up on our lives. Mike had such a great work ethic so I knew he would get the job. The only thing holding him back from getting it was his past track record. Some employers may be nervous about hiring someone with a past like Mike. Despite all of this, I was confident. A week later, I get another call from Mike. He got the job! We celebrated together on this great news — Mike would get the chance to make a new beginning and start a career! After we hung up, I thought back to the night when I was driving in my car as I pondered my life and what God’s plans were for me. I still may not know what His plans are, but this I do know: God loves us and sure knows what He’s doing. His timing is always perfect, even when we don’t understand.

If you would like to invest in lives like Mike, during the summer or on more of a full time basis, please see our openings below.

Brad was an Education Intern in 2015 and the 2016 Top Quality Coordinator.