When things feel as they might be falling apart, they may just be falling into place. Second chances are given out all the time…but they only work when someone takes them.
John Espinoza works as a finishing technician for Precision Plus His shift starts at 11:00 p.m. and ends at 7:30 a.m., just in time to take his young granddaughter Melanie to school. Melanie is a bright kindergartener with aspirations of becoming a doctor when she grows up.
On Monday mornings, after he drops Melanie off, John stays at the school for a couple of hours just to read one-on-one with every kid in Melanie’s class. “I like to read, so it gives me a real kick to experience the kids’ progress from just learning the letters, to reading entire stories—even with the appropriate inflections,” as they bring the stories to life. He credits the class teacher, Mrs. Autumn Petri, who “makes learning so much fun!” He adds, “ The children adore her!” But the children also really look forward to reading with John, whom they have nicknamed “Mr. Noodle,” after the beloved Sesame Street character. On Thursdays, he goes back to volunteer as a lunch parent.
There is nothing that gives John more satisfaction than to be involved in all aspects of Melanie’s life and to be a part of her formative years. Melanie is a busy girl, playing with the “Little Sis” Basketball Team, and with “The Varsity Deli” T-Ball Team, which John also happens to coach. She also attends children’s programs at Mt. Zion Christian Church and has plenty of time to play computer educational games, watch cartoons, and just play, like all kindergarteners should.
John and his wife Alicia are raising Melanie as their own daughter. When Melanie was a baby, her mother (one of John’s two daughters) left to never come back. John and Alicia are Melanie’s legal guardians, and are committed to be there for her every step of the way. John even takes parenting classes at his church.
But things may not have turned out this way, if John didn’t opt for taking a second chance.
Roll back the clock some years. John Espinoza, a third generation Texan of Mexican descent, grew up in mainstream North Dakota. His life was riddled with bad decisions, which put not only his own life in jeopardy, but also those of his first wife and their two young girls. “I was hard on my family,” he recalls. His life fell apart when his wife died. He continued to get involved in situations that eventually led him to spend time in jail.
It was while in jail, that John’s life made a sharp turn for the better. Through the turmoil, he found peace and endurance in the teachings from the Bible.
Fresh out of jail, John needed to find a job to support his family. He had worked as a CNC set up operator before, but now, time and time again his applications were rejected because of his dealings with the law…until he applied to work at Precision Plus, 13 years ago. He explained his situation to Mike Reader, and reassured Mike about the commitment he was willing to make to the company. He asked for a chance, and Mike, willingly, gave it to John. His career at Precision Plus, began as a tumbler.
“Mike was patient and through the years, he has helped to make my quality of life better. Mike makes a personal investment in his people,” adds John, “It goes beyond of just being an employee.”
When John was given a chance to raise his granddaughter, he knew that it was most important to be there for her and to be involved with her, so that Melanie would be better prepared to make the right decisions. “By allowing me to have night hours, Mike gave me the opportunity to spend the time I need to be with Melanie in her upbringing.”
Faith has been paramount in John’s life. But he not only leans on his faith for the second chances he has been given, he also gives back in more than one way. For the last 9 years, John has been preaching at local jails, hoping to impart the gift of a second chance he received once long ago. He also helps nurture a Hispanic group that recently joined Mt. Zion Christian Church.
When things feel as they might be falling apart, they may just be falling into place. Second chances are there for the taking.
Precision Plus is proud to have John Espinoza in its team.