CTEC Graduate Profile Series – Part II: Julius Butler

For the second segment of the CTEC Graduate Profile Series, we feature Julius Butler who graduated from CTEC in 2018. Julius used the help of BOSS not only to find employment and build his resume, but also pursue his passions and develop talent.

Read about April Owens in part I of our series.


Julius Butler 

After losing his job with a soup kitchen for arguing with upper management over workers’ rights, Julius Butler was forced into a period of homelessness. He lost the place he was renting, moved around friends’ houses, and lost optimism in his future. He reached a “low point” in his life, and felt that nothing was going to work out. Finally his friend Saradia referred him to the CTEC program at BOSS. 

Julius said that once he joined BOSS his mindset automatically switched. He found what he wanted, and learned that he still had a fighting chance. Julius gained a lot from the training sessions at CTEC, and said that he gained “self-confidence” and the “ability to tackle things straight on.” He appreciated the case managers.

“I had a lot of one-on-ones with them. They really helped me solidify my resume, play on my strengths, and learn the importance of professional integrity.”

He also learned different methods of conflict resolution, which was helpful because temperament had hindered him in the past.

These days Julius works full-time in Oakland, apprenticing at a tattoo shop and working for a start-up fashion company. At “Ink and Things” he has his own booth, does house calls, and is certified to tattoo in all 50 states. At “Wear Niki” he’s working on expanding their business, having traveled to Los Angeles and Las Vegas to market their garments. 

In the future Julius hopes to start a t-shirt company for men, using graphics that represent his tattoo designs. He would like to have a tattoo shop where he could sell his t-shirts, and also contribute to charities or nonprofits that help inner-city kids pursue careers in art.  


John shows what it means to be a CTEC graduate. Despite heavy setback, he shows that nothing is impossible if one has the will and guidance to get there. At BOSS we fight everyday to make that happen; to build opportunities for self-sufficiency. Everyone deserves a fair chance to succeed and become self-sufficient, no matter where they came from, and through CTEC that dream can come true. We can’t wait to see what our amazing 2019 graduates will do.

Look out for our another story next week featuring another of our amazing graduates. Read about our October 25, 2019 Graduation.