As a high school student at St. Anthony’s TITAN remembers his friend Vince Razzo.
Though their early years looked quite different from each other, their later teenage years were similar.
Vince recalls, “My childhood was very blessed, with 2 parents who love me dearly, they gave me every opportunity to succeed in life. Growing up, I played baseball, soccer, football and basketball. I believe playing sports kept me out of trouble when I was in school. As a teenager, that all took a sharp turn when I got into a fight at a party. The host of the party was upset and threatened to beat me up with a bunch of his friends. I got scared and started to hang out with my cousin for protection. I knew he would protect me because my cousin was part of a gang. This grew into a life surrounded by gangs, violence, and destroying my body with drugs. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. I found myself using drugs that were available to me, which were plenty. But it didn’t stop there. Before I knew it, I ended up selling and trafficking drugs in order to support the major drug habit I had created. Destruction only bred more destruction. In 2002, the police raided my parent’s house and found all kinds of drugs and drug paraphernalia scattered throughout. I was charged with Promotion of a Dangerous Drug in the 1st degree. In 2004, I was sentenced to 20 years. Looking back now, it all happened so quickly.”
Vince served much of his time in a prison in Arizona called Saguaro Correctional Center. Because of the overpopulated prisons of Maui, a majority of the male prison inmates are sent there to serve their sentence. While in prison, Vince’s life turned around in a major way, again. He surrendered his life to God, took responsibilities for his choices in the past, and transformed his outlook on the future. In Vince’s own words, he has committed to be a Trailblazer for God’s Kingdom.
If you asked Vince and TITAN, they would tell you it was no coincidence that they reconnected again last year. They would tell you wholeheartedly it was God’s plan for their stories to collide once again.
Recently, TITAN has made a way to go back home, back to his roots, to help out men that are in the situation that he used to be in. While in Maui last year, TITAN visted Maui Community Correctional Center, or MCCC. He spoke to the inmates about his own mistakes, and his own determination to overcome them. Using the opportunities granted to him through American Manufacturing, the connections with company leaders in Maui, and the MAVTV reality series, TITAN has created what he calls the Men of Integrity at MCCC. After contributing $20,000 of his own money the MOI at MCCC was launched last Fall. MOI at MCCC is a mentorship and job training program that seeks to help men integrate into a wholesome life, both inside the prison and outside the walls in society. With work furlough programs, weekly accountability meetings, and financial resources to purchase work clothes and acquire safe housing, the men of MCCC are able to get back on their feet and on the right path.
Vince Razzo is the first man to take part in the amazing opportunity that it provides inmates. Immediately after being granted parole, TITAN connected with HNU, a high tech aerospace and energy company based in Maui, and got Vince a job there. Vince also relieved mentors that hold him accountable and some brand new work clothes for his first day on the job. A new man, with a new purpose, Vince has renewed hope in the future. Through TITAN’s victorious journey, individuals, families, and communities are being impacted.
Vince acknowledges, “MOI at MCCC has impacted my life tremendously. TITAN, along with HNU Energy, have given me an opportunity to work. Now that my life is different, my hopes and plans for the future are bright. I am going to do whatever I can to be successful, but I need to learn at the same time to be content, because not being satisfied is what got me into trouble when I was younger.”
The journey with MOI at MCCC continues as Vince is now excelling in his job at HNU and flourishing in his second chance at life. MOI at MCCC continues to provide shelter, security, and mentorship to former inmates struggling to survive. Just recently, MOI leaders found an ex-convict living on the beaches of Maui. With his determination and the help of MOI at MCCC this man is being offered the same hope that Vince has embraced. New stories continue to be written.
Through all of the success and the notoriety that TITAN- American Built has acquired, TITAN still makes sure to use his opportunities to change other people’s lives in dramatic ways. Hope breeds hope. Here’s a clip from Episode 5, where Vince’s story is proudly proclaimed.