At 17, Michael Karitsis was on the fast track to a life of crime, “caught up in a dangerous world of alcohol, marijuana, burglary and more”.
But he managed to turn his life around by devoting all his time and energy to kickboxing.
Then in 2003, he was dealt a savage blow – diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, he was forced to give up the sport he loved, lost his job, became wheelchair-bound and almost lost hope.
“It was time to either dig deep and keep believing, or give up,” Mr Karitsis said.
“Believing in myself and never giving up hope, I learned from my sport.”
So Mr Karitsis started building his own business, Magic Logistics, one truck at a time, until it flourished to a fleet of trucks.
After getting his life back on track, he decided he wanted to give someone else a second chance.
Mr Karitsis contacted Fountain Gate employment agency Sarina Russo, who put him in touch with April Rose.
Ms Rose, of Hampton Park, suffered from depression, anxiety and heart conditions, and was in a “very bad place” after losing her previous job.
“When Michael hired me, I turned a corner,” Ms Rose said.
“He could have fallen in a heap and given up but he was an inspiration.
“It came at a perfect time; I wake up and I look forward to going to work.”
* From the How to Get that Job Vault