Austin is an E3 Private First Class in the United States Army.

Currently, Austin serves his country at Fort Campbell, most recently completing a 12 month tour in Korea. He was recognized by his Sergeant Major for his hard work, receiving a coin of excellence and recommendation for promotion. Austin’s success is truly remarkable considering where he was just a few years ago…

Austin grew up in a home full of drug addiction, and has struggled with addiction himself. He joined the KnoxWorx program as a dropout from a local High School and after only two weeks in the program, he accidentally overdosed and wrecked his car. Although he escaped the wreckage with his life, it set him back a few steps and he had to be relocated to Alabama where he was admitted to rehab.

KnoxWorx Case Managers and the other participants in his cohort thought hard about how they could reach out and stay connected to Austin from afar. They decided to write personal letters of encouragement to Austin, inviting him back into the program after he worked on his barrier of addiction. Through the intentional relationships that had been formed through the staff at KnoxWorx, Austin was empowered to come back to the program highly motivated, waking up at 4:00AM every morning to catch the closest bus to be at training on time. He worked diligently to catch up in the program requirements and graduated with the rest of his cohort on time. He also received his High School Equivalency Diploma and Pre Apprenticeship Certificate in Construction Training. Austin was one of the only participants to get both on time in his cohort.

After completing his time with KnoxWorx, Austin enlisted in the US Army as an 88m Motor Transport Operator where his role includes transporting equipment, ammunition and personnel. He has also worked with the field artillery unit. Austin shared with us:

“The KnoxWorx Construction program literally saved my life and made me into the man I am today.
I never would’ve found my purpose in serving my country without the trainers and staff at KLF.”