Is there power in second chances? In the case of Tracy Collins it is obvious that there can be immense power and value to the workforce in offering second chances.
Tracy Collins made a life-altering mistake and was sentenced for a white-collar crime in 2003. She ended up serving several years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. This kind of experience is one that can alter someone for the worse or change them for the better. For Tracy it was the latter. Tracy learned a hard lesson that your choices and actions affect more than just you.
“It taught me to think of the choices you make in life because I am not the only one who paid the price,” she said. This episode of her life affected her entire family, including her missing her daughter’s college graduation and being absent for the births of her niece and nephews.
Tracy chose to use this experience, this mistake, as an opportunity to recreate herself. She chose it as a time to fortify her relationship with her parents and daughter. She chose it to build her character and to reflect on who she wanted to be and where she wanted to go in life.
“Life is not finding yourself; it is about creating yourself. I have truly found myself and driven to the new creation I have become,” – Tracy
Tracy got her second chance after completing the COH Re-entry Program after her release. She was hired as a semi-skilled laborer for the City of Houston. Within 6 months she was promoted to an Equipment Operator and promoted again to a Field Supervisor within Houston Public Works. After 30 years, Tracy is also enrolled at Lone Star College and is scheduled to graduate with a BA in Cybersecurity in May 2021.
Tracy is now taking the lessons she has learned and her hard-earned accomplishments to inspire Houston Public Works’ employees to take ownership, use their words wisely and create a great place to work – a place where everyone thrives — as part of the TRANSFORM initiative.
TRANSFORM is a unique program I am partnering with Houston Public Works on to engage its employees to be one team with one purpose – to “create a strong foundation for Houston to thrive.” It has been one of the most fulfilling client projects I’ve led. I am truly in awe of the passion and servant heartedness of Houston Public Works 4000 employees.
Tracy understands that “life is understood going forward, but looking backward.” She chooses to move forward with her second chance, “but not forget the experiences” that have prepared her for where she is today. By being a good trainer and teacher, she feels her talents are being used in greater measure than before. She now embraces and is walking in her purpose with the best still yet to come!
How can we take a note from Tracy to bounce back and transform our own lives and organizations?