After eight years in the entertainment industry following college, then another eight year hiatus to focus on my family, I discovered my calling as a correctional chaplain working with incarcerated children. Throughout my 17 years in criminal justice reform I have navigated my efforts from inside facilities to the reentry sector. I have walked with children being convicted as adults and witnessed them shipped off to state prison, some for life sentences. I have supported and guided hundreds of young people during their time in prison and had my heart stop welcoming them home, now as actual adults.
I simply keep broadening the scope of my work and bringing more people into the circle of hope for our children, brothers and sisters experiencing incarceration. My work as a founding executive for the non-profit organization, The Anti-Recidivism Coalition allowed me to build a wide array of reentry services for our returning citizens. Expanding a staff of four into a staff of 36, I was able to build a network of support largely through hiring system impacted individuals who have a personal understanding of the journey through incarceration and the transition home. Together we created and implemented direct service support and housing programs to aid young men and women during their initial transition. Capitalizing on the willingness of community partners from government sectors to large corporations, I worked to establish pathways offering training and career placement for returning citizens in fields of employment from building trade unions to entertainment.
Being a tad idealistic in the eye of a complex and disconnected community culture, I try to approach life leading with LOVE. No matter what I’m experiencing, I really try to remind myself to consider what the most loving decision could be. Not always successful…I forge ahead.