Jerry Cooper

Family Formation Alum

Jerry Cooper, 55, spent two years locked up, away from his children and a career he enjoyed. “Once I was released, I searched for resources to get back on my feet,” explained Jerry. “I wanted to see my children again, so my mother recommended Fathers & Families Support Center, and I signed up.”

Skeptical at first, Jerry admitted that he didn’t want to get his hopes up about seeing his children ages 7 and 8, only to be turned away. Then he met FFSC facilitator, Lynn Vaden, who delivered on everything he promised and worked hard on Jerry’s behalf: “My father always told me ‘A trustworthy man is the best man,’ and Mr. Vaden is a man of his word!” said Jerry. “He challenged me and that’s how the changes in my life started.”

Not only did Jerry end up receiving temporary custody of his children, but he also got his commercial license reinstated. “My old boss at Metro Paving hired me back full-time because FFSC helped me get my license back, so I can work and support my kids.”

Determined to succeed in his career, Jerry signed up for Truck Driving School and met another student who was opening up a new school in the area for truck drivers. The two became fast friends. Jerry, who has been driving trucks all his life, helped his friend successfully graduate from the program. “He was so grateful for my help that he offered me a full-time teaching position at his Truck Driving school once it opens this year,” exclaimed Jerry.

Until then, Jerry says he is content with life: “I am working towards 50/50 custody with my kids because I know they need their mother, and I would never take them away from her.” Together, Jerry and his kids have been spending the summer swimming at the area pool, riding bikes and enjoying precious time as a family again.