From Volunteer to Career Coach!

Meet James Cannon Jr., Career Coach

How long have you been with Twin Cities R!SE?

I previously worked at Twin Cities R!SE as an Employment Coach for a little more than a year but prior to that I was a volunteer with the GED Program, that was about 6 or 7 years ago. I’ve been back on the job as a Career Coach with Twin Cities R!SE for two months and 11 days.

What brought you to Twin Cities R!SE?

I first came to TCR because my old Pastor Peter Sylgetary, a former coach at TCR, suggested I come since I was struggling to obtain employment after graduating from the University of Minnesota, due to my criminal background. My first meeting was with Dwayne Simms, I thought he was interviewing me to get in to the program as a participant but it turns out he was interviewing me for a coaching position. I didn’t get the job but that lead to me volunteering as a GED tutor with TCR, and the rest is history.

What were you doing before Twin Cities R!SE?

I was an TANF/MFIP Employment Counselor with Ramsey County for 4 years. Last year I went full time as a real estate investor and managed several units I own.

Tell me what excites you about coming to work every day?

I love the passion of the staff here and the drive and determination of TCR participants to change their lives through meaningful employment.

Tell me about a time or a moment when you knew that TCR was a special place?

I knew very early on that TCR was a special place. When I did GED tutoring I remember the excitement and smiles on peoples faces and the feeling I had when they thanked me for my help, I have that same feeling every time we help someone else obtain employment and grow in to the person and the life God created for them.

I remember being on the other side of that feeling and how emotional it was for me when I got my first job doing this type of work, I was an Americorps VISTA with Amicus. When I got the news that I had been hired for the position, I literally, had to pull the car over and I broke down and cried because I was so grateful for the opportunity, it was more than just a job, it was me being able to do what I’m passionate about and having an organization affirm my core value. I was only making something like $4.00 an hour but it meant so much more than the dollar amount on the check, it was a feeling of being accepted by society, the chance to do something I’d take the time to be great at and enjoy and pure joy and thankfulness.

We may not fully grasp it, but that’s what we do at Twin Cities R!SE, we give people that feeling. In the words of Maya Angelou; “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

What is your personal affirmation?

I, James Cannon, am a confident, fearless, successful, entrepreneur, billionaire and owner who praises God, makes money, and creates wealth.

I wrote that affirmation at a training done by a Real Estate Investor, that’s why is kind of money heavy but It’s an affirmation that has stuck and one I repeat to myself daily. 

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I’m a Packers Shareholder. GO PACK GO!

James Cannon Jr.jpg

Do you hold any certifications?  If so, please share them:

GCDF, OWDS, Empowerment Facilitator, Motivational Interviewing Training Certification