Chris Hampton came to the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) on 8/25/14. He was born in Las Vegas, Nevada on 6/11/77, one of three children, and has lived in other places, but moved back to Las Vegas in 2012. He quit school in the 9th grade, but obtained a GED in 1996. His disabilities include Anxiety, PTSD, and Substance Abuse, with 4 Felony Convictions. He has not used drugs since 8/13/13, and was incarcerated for a period of time. He reported that for most of his life, he was filled with rage and anger and would get into fights regularly. He has always been interested in art, and while in prison he started tattooing himself and other inmates. As a matter of fact, he is covered from head to toe with tattoos, which could also be noted as a detriment in his ability to obtain gainful employment, due to prejudices. While investing time in perfecting his tattoo artwork, he was less likely to engage in brawls and fighting.
Chris was referred to BVR by the Department of Corrections, with no previous work skills and/or direction of what type of job he would like to pursue. During his BVR Intake, a reality check was discussed in trying to identify what types of jobs he might be able to obtain; bearing in mind no work skills, no academic trade skills, his felony convictions, and his body covered with tattoos.
Chris stated he might be able to get a fast food job, at best, which would not likely financially support him, his girlfriend, her son, and their new baby girl. Discussion ensued regarding obtaining a tattoo license and going into business as a Tattoo Artist. Chris lost it! He broke down and stated that no one had ever offered to help and/or invest in him. He was so appreciative and excited about the future’s possibilities.
BVR assisted him in obtaining the necessary and required licenses, certifications and equipment he would need to pursue his “Dream Job” as a Tattoo Artist. He did everything the VRC suggested with enthusiasm and determination; from designing business cards, marketing techniques, a notebook tattoo display, a marketing portfolio, and discounts for referred and/or repeat customers.
He reports his business is booming and he couldn’t be happier. He now talks about positive short- and long-term goals he has for his business, himself, and his family. This has been one of the most enjoyable and positive vocational transformations we’ve had the pleasure to witness and experience.