Franklinton Rising: “I Gotta Work My Way Up”
We recently introduced you to Franklinton Rising, a non-profit organization working to change the lives of teens and young adults by teaching construction skills and preparing them for full-time employment. The group is currently remodeling a home on Chicago Avenue. During my first visit to the house, I met 25-year-old DeVille Morrow. He has been with Franklinton Rising since March. My first impression of Morrow was of a soft-spoken, friendly guy who displayed a genuine love for building homes. But there is much more to Morrow’s story. The struggles he has had to overcome make his positive attitude and determination to succeed that much more inspiring.
Morrow moved to Columbus in 2011, but was born and raised in Chicago. He briefly told me about some of the activity he witnessed on a regular basis as a child– gang fights, shootings, drug deals, home robberies, and people dying. Morrow said he did his best to keep himself and his younger siblings away from the violence. He also said it was his older brother who taught him how to survive in such a rough environment. The reason that job fell to his brother was because Morrow’s father was not around to do it. He told me his father was convicted of murder when Morrow was just 3, and has been in prison ever since. The two have managed to sustain a relationship though, and his dad’s experience motivates Morrow to live a better life. “He always told me, be smart. To not let other people influence me… And I told myself, that if I had my own kids, I’d make sure I’m in their life. I’d show them a good path so they don’t have to go through struggles.”