“I need to be a light-weight to the younger males”; Greensboro Meals Truck Proprietor strives for extra and hopes to be an instance to younger individuals

GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) – It would be easy for Will Pettiford to take the money he now makes and live a good life. But that’s not Will.

He faced some challenges – he grew up in a poor neighborhood in Roxboro, Person County north of Charlotte – his father was no part of his life. He got into trouble, and those troubles seemed to haunt him everywhere.

“I did everything the judge told me to do,” says Will, describing his efforts to get a job with which he can support his young family. “My file has been deleted; I did everything I was told to make things right. I tried applying for a job at the federal office after college, but everything on my file was still coming up and I was denied over 200 jobs. “

Then, in November 2020, Will bought a food truck. It was tough for a few months, but when the warmer months came, so did he. Now he wants to use the money he earns to help other young men who were in the same situation he was growing up.

He has a gang prevention program that he started in 2013 and that had to be discontinued due to lack of funds. But he says it worked. “They’re listening to me because I was there, I did,” Will says of the young African Americans he’s worked with.

His ultimate goal is to raise enough money to open a stationary restaurant that could both provide early employment for the young men and specialize in working for people re-entering society from prison. It is extremely difficult for these people to find jobs.

“I want to teach culinary children who don’t really have a trade, don’t really have anything to do,” says Will. “A lot of the kids I work with go to jail, they go to jail, they come home and they are stuck. They call me to find out what’s next for them and often I have nothing for them because they took the route they wanted to take, but I think if we open this restaurant it will get them something ? to do something that they can look forward to, but also how to earn a living and do a job. “

For Will, it is the natural extension of his personal success.

“You would like to invest in the community again because without the community I wouldn’t make any money, so I don’t want them to think that they just come here and spend their money and I don’t do anything with it. I just want to show them that I’m doing something positive, ”he says.

See more of Will’s story in this issue of the Buckley Report.

“Above all, I just want to be a light to the young men, because the things that I have been through, the dreams that I have had about the things that I have been through, I would not wish anyone else.”

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