The Power of Education and Second Chances

Written by Kaitlyn Nolan, First Literacy Marketing and Communications Intern

Did you know that April is Second Chance Month? This significant observance shines a light on the journey of those reentering the community after being incarcerated. Second Chance Month is an opportunity to emphasize the crucial role individuals, communities, and agencies play in supporting the safe and successful return of adults and youth to society. For many young individuals, a second chance represents not just an opportunity, but their first real chance to thrive.

A study from Emory University, found that ex-offenders who engage in educational pursuits, such as completing high school courses, significantly reduce their likelihood of returning to incarceration, with recidivism rates dropping to around 55 percent. This statistic underscores the transformative power of education in breaking the cycle of reoffending.

Recently, we sat down with Michael, a participant in the Charlestown Adult Education Reentry Program funded in part by First Literacy. Michael’s journey is one marked by inspiration and resilience. Motivated by the story of a former Chelsea police officer who obtained his GED and is now a college professor, Michael is determined to pay it forward. Having walked the path himself, Michael is committed to guiding and supporting young individuals facing similar challenges. Through his own experiences, he understands the impact of education and mentorship on the journey to redemption and success.

Read the full interview here