OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Not so long ago, Dejon Slaughter's life wasn't stacking up so well. A bad decision led to hard time in prison, then tough times when he got out.
"I recently got out of prison, the Sayre DOC facility, and it was really hard for me to get a job starting off, and I’ve looked at several places and know looking for a job is a job, and I went up here and talked to Fred, and Fred asked me my situation. He asked what I was like at work, and he let me right on in. And when I found out while I started working, most the people in there he was giving a second chance,” Dejon said.
Fred is the likable boss at a Carl's Jr. restaurant and this week's Pay it 4ward nominee. We secretly met Dejon at Credit Jewelry next door.
Kent Ogle and Anna Lancaster from First Fidelity Bank prepared to pay it forward on behalf of First Fidelity Bank and the News 4 family.
“We are so proud to play a small part in the life of someone who chooses to give others a second chance thank you for your rehabilitative efforts to both him and you and also for making a positive impact on our community. It is my honor to present this $400 dollars to you so you can pay it forward. Thank you,” Anna said.
“I appreciate it. Thank you, guys,” Dejon said.
We head across the parking lot and into the restaurant to surprise Fred.
"I'm Kent Ogle from Channel 4. We have a program called Pay it 4ward, and Dejon nominated you for the award this week, and he's got something to say to you,” Kent said.
“Hey, we appreciate you helping us out as far as giving us the job, but not only giving us second chances in life – a lot of us had to mess up in life and come from different DOC facilities and what not, and for you to be here for us and help us out, man, we appreciate it, especially [you] let me off on Sundays to go to church. You know, what I'm saying that is dear to my heart. We'd like to pay it forward to you,” Dejon said.
“I appreciate it. You’re on for that one. That was good, man. I love you. Thank you, man,” Fred said. "That was good, man. Ain’t had nobody bring tear to my eye in a while, man. I appreciate you.”
It takes a team to get out orders quickly, and Fred’s team is loyal and appreciative.
"I really like him. He's real nice, easy to work with, no problem. He don't gripe and yell like everybody else. He's real funny; he's like the comedian of the whole store,” said Marciana Mitchner.
"He gave me a job when nobody else would. He took a chance, and I've been here about six months now,” said Melynda Byrd.
Fred’s hard work has led to success. His kindness stems from another second chance long ago.
“I'm on my second chance, and I thank everybody who gave me my second chance. So, I have no problem giving people second chances. If you don't get a second chance, where the world gonna go?” Fred said.
A second chance, paid forward that Dejon is making the most of.
Nominate someone for Pay it 4Ward!
Pay It 4Ward is a program through which KFOR-TV viewers can help someone they know who could use extra cash immediately.
Each week someone will receive $400 cash because one of their friends or co-workers wants to "Pay It 4Ward."
When nominating, make sure to include your name, daytime phone number, who you nominate and why. Please follow all the criteria when nominating.
Pay It 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.