Meet Baron Rutledge
pictured above: Baron Rutledge with his mother Afrika Rutledge.
It is a privilege to introduce Baron Rutledge. Baron has an engaging personality and a depth of character that only comes through an array of life’s experiences. Baron joined Vantage Plastics in October of 2020 and works as a teammate on the production floor fulfilling several supporting roles. Baron has led a life of ups and downs and says this is the longest time he has held a job at one location. Baron got married at a young age and had four children including his namesake a son Baron whose life was tragically lost to violence, a daughter Nikita, a daughter Iykiesha, and another son named Dominque. He also serves as a surrogate father for another daughter named Coylissa and many other young people. “Papau” is another name that Baron is known by as he has 12 biological grandchildren and 13 surrogate grandchildren. During the summer months his days often involve taking van loads of young people to amusement parks, tubing, travel, and other recreational activities. Baron has a strong focus on family and his community. In his spare time, he enjoys bowling, playing cards, and fixing old cars.
Baron states that; “During life’s journey we often come to forks in the road. The paths can be clear or bumpy with rocks and weeds but the Lord always has us regardless of the path.” Growing up Baron was the oldest in his family and as a big brother he served as a confidant, and protector of his siblings and cousins. He became a straight A student and excelled in science, math, and sports. While in fifth grade Baron competed in The Michigan Science Fair and received a first-place award for a project focused on solar power. At the end of high school Baron took a turn onto a different path. He left his mother’s home at 18 to move in with the mother of his child and got married after becoming a father at the young age of 17.
As life went on it presented Baron with many new challenges, hardships, exposures, and choices. Circumstances and a circle of acquaintances led Baron to choices that took him down some of the bumpy paths filled with rocks and weeds eventually leading to The Michigan Department of Corrections. After serving a few years in the penitentiary system he realized a need to change. He is now focused on both his physical and mental health and living a stable lifestyle. Baron indicates he likes working at Vantage Plastics because “it feels like a family and I was embraced and made to feel comfortable even with my record.” Baron says Vantage Plastics makes him feel grounded. He particularly likes the full benefit package and the work schedule that provides a lot of personal flexibility outside of work. He has led several young men to take jobs at Vantage Plastics. His dream along with his significant other Darci is to save money and buy some property that will provide a place for them and the grandkids to have some space outdoors. Baron shares his story openly especially with young people as he hopes it serves as a testimony for others about paths, choices, and the impact they can make in life. Baron is to be commended for the role he is playing in the lives of many young people. It has been a pleasure to highlight Baron as he works to fulfill our Mission of Forming Better Lives, Forming Solutions, and Forming Sustainable Futures.
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