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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Homeless Veteran Gets a 2nd Chance
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Calvin Covington faced many challenges growing up in Greensboro, North Carolina. He struggled with many barriers, including poverty, addiction, mental illness, and not knowing his biological father. But his road now looks more promising, thanks to a second chance at Saint Paul College.

Calvin joined the military in 1988 to escape Greensboro, not wanting to become a product of his environment. He served four years in the US Army and received an honorable discharge as a Sergeant in 1992. Calvin became a father to a son in 1994 and a daughter in 1996 and vowed to be a father to his children, unlike his personal experiences. During this time, he also became a Minneapolis Firefighter from 2002 to 2007.

After raising his two children, Calvin re-enlisted in the US Army Reserves in 2009 – 13 years after his previous discharge. He served as a Mobilization Sergeant for ten months at Fort Snelling, MN. Still having barriers, including homelessness, Calvin went to the Saint Cloud VA for treatment in 2011. During that time, Calvin received a manicure and pedicure from the Model College of Hair Design and decided to become a Cosmetologist. Calvin earned his Cosmetology license in 2012 while in therapy and worked the next six years as a Stylist for Great Clips. He also became a Cosmetologist Instructor and an Esthetician. He enjoyed skincare so much that he taught the Basic Skin Care Course from 2015 through 2022.

Calvin adopted the motto “Skin Is In,” as he describes skin care as the thing for all of us to do and take care of because it is our largest organ, so why not take care of it like our heart, eyes, teeth, etc.? He realized he would need an Associate in Esthetics degree to become job-ready and more marketable in Minnesota. Currently enrolled in the Esthetician Advanced Practice program, Calvin will graduate next month and plans to finish his Degree in December 2024. Grateful for a second chance from the Veterans Administration and Saint Paul College, Calvin wants to pursue his dream job as a mobile Esthetician in Minnesota, providing services to home- and hospital-bound veterans. Calvin strongly believes that God has given him new grace and mercies and gives all the Glory to God for his new outlook in life.

Recipient of a Work Study stipend from the VA, Calvin works in the college’s Veteran Resource Center. He enjoys meeting with other veterans and helping them with their education and associated benefits.

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