Join a community with a shared mission of breaking chains and building futures.

When someone is incarcerated or struggling with addiction, it touches the lives of all those around them. As much as colleagues and mentors may want to help, however, they often feel powerless; they don’t know the best way to show their support and likely need support themselves.

Support Your Community

At 2nd Opportunity, we enjoy collaborative relationships with businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies that allow us to share our lived experience and programming with their populations—with a mutual end goal of empowering individuals who have experienced life-changing setbacks to build a better future.

Our variety of distribution methods—in person, via WebEx or Zoom, online, and via tablet—makes it possible for us to accommodate organizations’ needs and comply with any restrictions. Virtual programming and virtual peer support allow us to forge a bond with participants even when we can’t meet in person.

During group psychotherapy men discover their hopes, fears, losses, frustrations, and traumas

Our Approach

Helping Individuals Help Themselves

2nd Opportunity’s programming is catered to individuals struggling with incarceration, addiction, trauma, loss, and other negative life-changing events. Our courses aim to build participants’ dignity and self-worth while empowering them to improve their lives. Our program presenters – men and women with lived experience themselves – serve as guides, helping participants build (or rebuild) their confidence, providing resources and referrals to help them get back on their feet, and arming them with the skills and tools they need to become working, self-sufficient members of society — and stay that way.

Standard Program Offerings

We recommend that organizations offer our three courses in the sequence presented below. Here’s an overview of our offerings:

A Path Forward©

A program designed for anyone seeking a fresh start, including individuals faced with rebuilding their lives as they re-enter society after incarceration or overcome an addiction, people looking to move on following a divorce or death, and those who are simply struggling to gain traction in their lives. The most comprehensive of our three courses, A Path Forward© includes two hours of video instruction, a 42-page workbook, and activities and quizzes to reinforce the material covered.

The program presenter will guide participants through:

  • Examining trauma and its impact on their behavior
  • Understanding the essential concepts and challenges of starting over
  • Defining what success means to them and what really matters in their life
  • Crafting their story and talking about their job history on interviews
  • Being part of a team and dealing with workplace conflict
  • And much more

A Path to Financial Freedom©

A program designed to teach participants the fundamentals of finance needed to function in today’s world. The course includes 90 minutes of video instruction, a 23-page workbook, and activities and quizzes to ensure participants are absorbing the material.

Basic skills covered include: 

  • Budgeting
  • Operating a checking account
  • Paying taxes
  • Applying for financial aid
  • Filling out employment forms
  • Establishing credit
  • And much more

Values-Aligned Goal Setting©

A highly participative workshop designed to help people reevaluate and rebuild following a negative life-changing event by determining their values and setting attainable goals that they can leverage into long-term success. The course includes two hours of video instruction, a 35-page workbook, and quizzes, activities and goal-setting worksheets participants can refer back to as they progress through their career and life goals.

Throughout the course, individuals will learn how to:

  • Determine their values
  • Set “bedrock” and “building” goals
  • Identify potential obstacles to reintegrating into society
  • Develop and pursue a meaningful career path
  • And much more

Customized Programs

In addition to our standard courses, we have and will continue to customize our programs to meet the needs of funders and sponsoring organizations. See who we’ve worked with by clicking here.

Dedicated Support Network

We know firsthand that resources and support are essential to overcoming the challenges of re-entry and rebuilding, which is why all program participants also have access to:


Referrals for employment, housing, substance abuse counseling, and other essential support services.


Skills development courses, lectures and webinars.

Support Groups

Virtual and in-person peer-to-peer meetings and connections.


One-on-one mentoring for those who need additional support.

Get Started

You can access all of 2nd Opportunity’s courses through our website and complete them at your own pace. Still have questions? Feel free to email us or call us at 847-257-2713.

Don't miss new programs, events and updates

Recent Success Stories

1.“Half of Americans Have Family Members Who Have Been Incarcerated.” Equal Justice Initiative, 11 December 2018,
2. Lipari, Rachel N., Ph.D., and Van Horn, Struther L., M.A. “Children Living with Parents Who Have a Substance Use Disorder.” The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 24 August 2017,

3. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,