2024 Spotlight Award feature image

2024 GOSO Gala Spotlight Award Honorees: John, Anton, Maliki and Carlos

GOSO is proud to present the 2024 Spotlight Award to GOSO’s participants, both past and present, who will receive honoree recognition for their remarkable resiliency and for their constant inspiration, innovation, and motivation within the organization.

Meet some of the alumni participants graciously accepting the award on behalf of all participants:

Maliki CotrellMALIKI COTTRELL

Maliki Cottrell was released from prison in 2007 at the age of 21 after serving 3 1/2 years of incarceration for possession of an unlicensed firearm. Upon his release, he immediately enrolled in Lehman College, majoring in business administration and marketing. Maliki simultaneously worked a full-time job as a dishwasher while taking five classes per semester, making him a full-time student. In his sophomore year of college, Maliki decided to turn it up a notch and start his own company. Maliki started I-Haul-Junk, Inc., a New York-based Junk removal company that removes unwanted furniture and appliances from homes and businesses. Throughout his 11 years in business, he has hired over 50 disadvantaged men and women (veterans, disabled, and some with criminal backgrounds). Today, he actively runs I-haul- junk Inc. and sells real estate. Maliki has also written a self-help book titled “How to Change Your Life in 33 Steps” that is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all other major bookstores.

 

John GonzalezJOHN GONZALEZ

“GOSO changed my life. The moment I was released from Rikers Island, I continued meeting with MG. It helped me create a plan to rebuild myself and become a productive member of society. I had my gorgeous son. I bought my first house. I became gainfully employed. I invested in real estate. I started focusing on wealth building and providing my son with a life I never had. I met a beautiful person, Carolina, my soon-to-be wife and true partner.”

I hope that the younger generations will take full advantage of GOSO. Stay focused. Anything is possible with great people like MG and the GOSO staff.

 

Anton KoganANTON KOGAN

“Since release, I have completed an MBA from Rutgers Business School and launched Emma’s Premier Services from a Kitchen Table to $14 million in collective sales with 1.8 million families served.

I have also focused on investing in commercial real estate and today successfully manage 52 rental units in the central NJ area.

Emma’s Premium Services has provided employment opportunities for nearly 25 people and has had a social impact on how families support their loved ones – reaching the pages of Forbes and Fortune magazines.”

 

Carlos PolancoCARLOS POLANCO

“GOSO launched my career path. I started as an office manager at a recruiting agency, gaining valuable corporate experience. Alongside this, I volunteered part-time, tutoring first-generation college students through nonprofits in Brownsville and Harlem’s Children’s Zone (writing, workshops, college assignments). After the agency, I transitioned to a Senior Accounts Analyst role managing finances for a high-net-worth family. Leveraging my analytical skills, I recently moved to my current role as a Sales Manager for a gym franchise.”

 

Learn more about this year’s gala, and find sponsorship and ticket information, here.