From Prison to a New Career – Program Offers a Second Chance - New York News

From Prison to a New Career – Program Offers a Second Chance

Posted: Updated:

The tattoos across Leo Claude's hands and on his fingers are reminders of his old life.  In a gang and juvenile detention by the time he was 15, then in prison six times over the next 15 years.

"Assaults, and possession of firearms, things of that nature," Leo told FOX11.

Now Leo is clean and out of trouble, making a new life for himself and his family, thanks to a job-training program for parolees put on by an organization called Communities in Schools and the Laborers local 300 union.  They offer hands-on construction training to people with seemingly nowhere to turn- and have a hard time finding work.

"You're asked on your applications if you have a record and stuff like that when you say yes, then they automatically say we can't help you," said Leo.

This year, Los Angeles Mission College joined the cause.   After finishing an intense hands-on, 5 day construction boot camp, participants can choose to get an Associate's degree in a wide range of fields.

 "I really believe that this college and colleges can be the vehicle for transforming communities," said Dr. Monte Perez, President of Mission College.

Organizers say there are two keys to success:  Looking at people in a new light and their own will to change.

"They'll say tell me something positive about a young man who has a sorted past the quote unquote shot caller in the community. My response has always been well they have leadership skills if the whole community is following them," said Bobby Arias, President of Communities in Schools in Los Angeles.

"I'm growing up I'm getting older… I'm married. I have a 12 year old daughter. So you know, I missed out a lot on her life," said Leo, who's now trying to get custody of his daughter Kayla.

This year 103 people have participated in the job training program so far. Of those 68 graduated and most are already working. But for the majority it's about more than a new career opportunity - it's about a chance to start a new life.

 

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Superstorm Sandy

    Grimm criticizes storm recovery program

    Grimm criticizes storm recovery program

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:12:14 GMT
    When Superstorm Sandy destroyed Maureen Childs' Staten Island home, she turned to New York City's Build it Back program for help. She says what she got back was heartache. At a news conference Wednesday, Rep. Michael Grimm, who represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, highlighted what he called failures in a program designed to help victims of Sandy get back on their feet.
    When Superstorm Sandy destroyed Maureen Childs' Staten Island home, she turned to New York City's Build it Back program for help. She says what she got back was heartache. At a news conference Wednesday, Rep. Michael Grimm, who represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, highlighted what he called failures in a program designed to help victims of Sandy get back on their feet.
  • Pranna to end 'boozy brunch' after viral video

    Pranna to end 'boozy brunch' after viral video

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:10 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:10:44 GMT
    Video posted on YouTube showing young women and men who appear to be stumbling and drunk coming out of the restaurant Pranna in the flatiron district is why angry residents packed into a community meeting to complain Wednesday night. Neighbors say problems have been happening on Saturdays and Sundays during a so-called bottomless brunch, where patrons can drink as many drinks as they want in a two-hour period.
    Video posted on YouTube showing young women and men who appear to be stumbling and drunk coming out of the restaurant Pranna in the flatiron district is why angry residents packed into a community meeting to complain Wednesday night. Neighbors say problems have been happening on Saturdays and Sundays during a so-called bottomless brunch, where patrons can drink as many drinks as they want in a two-hour period.
  • NYC's secret access for celebrities

    NYC's secret access for celebrities

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:07 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:07:59 GMT
    A little bit of money, power and fame can unlock a whole world of hidden passageways and detours allowing stars to come and go discreetly. Seth Weisser has perfected private shopping inside his Soho vintage boutique What Goes Around Comes Around. Celebs slip in through the side door and descend into the vault. But the upper floor isn't too shabby either, featuring hundreds of rare Chanel and Hermes handbags.
    A little bit of money, power and fame can unlock a whole world of hidden passageways and detours allowing stars to come and go discreetly. Seth Weisser has perfected private shopping inside his Soho vintage boutique What Goes Around Comes Around. Celebs slip in through the side door and descend into the vault. But the upper floor isn't too shabby either, featuring hundreds of rare Chanel and Hermes handbags.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices