Thank you to the Coalition to Reduce Recidivism, Patricia Jones, M.Ed., Coalition Board Chairperson and Attorney Jennifer Witherspoon, President for inviting me to speak at their Public Meeting in Lake County. A special thanks to Johnnie Jenkins for making the introduction and especially for her efforts as employment specialist helping formerly incarcerated individuals find jobs. C2RR is doing great work in removing barriers through lobbying, coordinating Youth Summits, working with employers to provide jobs, and helping with legal needs allowing their served population to get back to work. It was my pleasure to be there and I am grateful for the warm reception.
I am so grateful to the Restoring Rights & Opportunities Coalition (RROCI) for inviting me to speak to the Illinois House of Representative’s Labor Committee about the need to remove barriers to employment and housing for formerly incarcerated individuals. The comments following our testimony and follow up conversations with Representatives demonstrated their acknowledgment that something needs to be done. 2nd Opportunity is working to demonstrate solutions that remove barriers. It was a wonderful experience and something I couldn’t have dreamed of just 2 years ago. Thank you to my friends at RROCI and keep up the excellent work.
Victorious Living is a high quality magazine published by Kristi Overton-Johnson. Kristi is a former water skiing world champion who is a member of the United States Water Skiing Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. She wrote “Hit It” and speaks of falling down everyday and in the midst of her falling down, she won a world championship. She is dynamic, inspirational, and wonderfully kind. I was privileged to be invited to Florida to be interviewed by Kristi and her team for an upcoming issue of Victorious Living. (My first time on an airplane since 2005.) Kristi founded KOJ Ministries and provides Victorious Living magazine to places of despair to inspire hope for the future. 2nd Opportunity is proud to sponsor Victorious Living for the detainees of Kane County Jail.
I am excited to be a part of Kane County Jail’s Employment Readiness Programming. Sheriff Ron Hain has a forward-thinking approach to provide programs to prepare currently incarcerated individuals for return to society. I attended an actual Job Fair (thank you Judy Dawson) held in the jail. Local employers interviewed men and women with the intention of making job offers for those nearing release. Through training and skill development during incarceration, returning citizens have a greater opportunity to reintegrate into society and reconnect with their families and communities. 95% of prisoners will be released back into their communities. Housing and employment are two vital factors to enhance their opportunity for success and to reduce recidivism. Sheriff Hain gets it and he’s acting on it. I am happy to bring our programming into the jail to contribute to his vision. Thank you, Tim Ryan for the introduction.
Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain with Tim Ryan and Augie Ghilarducci (Posted April 10, 2019)
It was a pleasure to appear on Diane Latiker’s Radio Show. A partnership has been created for 2nd Opportunity to bring Life Skill and Employment Readiness Training Programs to help support the wonderful mission of Kids Off the Block.
Diane Latiker and Augie Ghilarducci (Posted March 22, 2019)