“I didn’t think I could be a carpenter,” says ex-convict Anthony Fagan. “Everybody I was looking up to growing up had been to prison. I felt like that was something I had to do to become a man. A rite to passage.”
Fagan, and others like him have gotten a fresh start post-prison thanks to 2nd Call (an acronym for “Second Chance at Loving Life”). The 501c-3 non-profit is one part community outreach, one part mentorship, and one part job placement. They help young people stay away from crime by giving them both tools and opportunities. There are life skills courses and job-readiness meetings.
Or, as board member “Big John” Harriel Jr. says, “We talk about doing things that can add and multiply, rather than subtracting and dividing. In the hopes that someone would realize they might not want to do 27 years in prison.”
One of 2nd Call’s biggest benefits is that there’s a shared system of accountability. The non-profit’s co-founders have all “been there” and they’ve set up a system of accountability that helps people succeed with pride.
“Im on my way to getting off parole,” Fagan says, beaming. “I have a pension, I have a career… Life couldn’t be better.”