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Instilling Change: Bambi Wright

For some, the reentry process can often feel like putting together a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle. There are multiple different pieces that must be connected with no clear directions or starting point. It’s easy to know what the picture is supposed to look like, but often difficult to figure out how the pieces fit. Like many others, Second Chance participant Bambi Wright has been actively working to piece together her own jigsaw puzzle post-incarceration. Prior to incarceration, Bambi “couldn’t find a way out of the cycle and insanity [she] was living in.” Although she had completed various treatment programs, things weren’t getting any easier. Unfortunately, Bambi became incarcerated for 6 ½ years. While incarcerated, Bambi made it her mission to use her time wisely. If she wasn’t trying out various types of jobs, she was out on the track being physically active. She also participated in an institutional treatment program. After spending multiple years in the justice system, Bambi knew that she wanted something different for herself and her family. Once released, Bambi found it very difficult to obtain employment due to her background and found herself in a cycle of false hope. Within a month of her release, Bambi attended Job Club and received a referral from her Parole Officer to enroll in the Second Chance program. When looking at a puzzle, it is sometimes important to ask for help because others may see what you might not. Through Second Chance, Bambi has been able to piece more of her puzzle together. She has persistently worked with her assigned Resource Specialist on areas such as gainful employment, co-parenting skills, and coping mechanisms. To Bambi, employment assistance has been the most important component of Second Chance. Financial stability through work has been helpful for paying off various dues such as restitution and child support. Bambi is also thankful for the support system she has received from the staff. Besides Second Chance, Bambi is grateful for her Parole Officer and a Johnson County treatment program for being encouraging and understanding along the way. Bambi currently serves as a Service Technician at Steamatics, a company formerly owned by a Second Chance advisory board member. She began working in August 2019 and has recently received a pilot promotion to serve as an Admin and Sales Retention employee. Through her job, Bambi has created a support system with her co-workers, who have been nothing but encouraging along the way. Bambi is very thankful for her job because she is able to grow with the company and feels valued every day. Outside of work, Bambi is involved with her children and their extracurricular activities. She also enjoys going to the gym and running. She has plans to complete the Kansas City Marathon this October. In the near future, she would also like to go back to school to learn more about her field of work. When asked what advice she would offer those in similar situations, Bambi stated to “not quit five minutes before the miracle happens. Nobody else knows the work that you’ve put in.” While Bambi’s puzzle is not yet complete, her personal piece is beginning to fit. The staff at Second Chance are extremely proud of Bambi and all of her accomplishments since joining our program. We are thrilled to see what her future holds!

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