Columbia car salesman teaches ‘at risk’ kids how to succeed on the road of life

Columbia car salesman teaches ‘at risk’ kids how to succeed on the road of life

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Joe Sicilio sells luxury vehicles for a living at BMW of Columbia, connecting clients with their dream cars.

He’s honed a sales method that’s helped him find success, and he’s using it to change the lives of at-risk teens at the Department of Juvenile Justice facility in Union, SC.

While many consider the participants in his program to be “at risk”, Sicilio says investing in these kids is worth the risk.

“I find it important not to just teach them the process...but tell ‘em why it's important,” Sicilio said.

Sicilio’s program titled “E.A.R.N. The Right” lasts five weeks, teaching job readiness skills.

Some of the topics include self-confidence, communication, asking the right questions, being your best, and overcoming your past.

“So, the process allows you to earn the right to each step. Earn the Right. And as I told the kids. You have to earn the right for everything you get nowadays. They're earning the right to get out of here,” Sicilio explained.

The process appears to be working. Sicilio says DJJ has notified him that 79% of the kids who go through his program make some type progress, either earning a GED, a High School Diploma, or going to a tech school.

Sonya Glenn works for DJJ and says the program is making a big difference in the lives of the kids she works with every day.

“They know how to go in front of a judge, they know how to talk to their social workers...they know how to go to these job interviews and what to say,” Glenn said.

It’s thanks in part to Sicilio, a salesman giving kids who might otherwise be written off because of their past the best deal of all, hope and a future.

“I hope to be a shining light for them, for them to realize... people do care,” Glenn said.

Sicilio’s goal is to raise half a million dollars and server 3 to 5 thousand kids each year.

For more information about the E.A.R.N. The Right Program head to earntheright.org.

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