Instilling Change: Jolene Plummer

Everyone’s journey to rehabilitation looks different. Some find it easier than others, while some find it harder than others, through no fault of their own. Jolene Plummer could be described as one of those that found the journey easier.


Pre-incarceration, Jolene described her life as “the life of an addict”. Jolene struggled with addiction for 23 years since she was an adolescent. Fast forward to today and Jolene has now been clean for four solid years. Jolene’s sobriety is one of the things she’s most proud of in her journey so far. While Jolene didn’t say this directly, it’s easy to imagine her sobriety played a huge role in her success in substantially improving her track in life.


Jolene came to the Second Chance program in July of 2019. Jolene had only been making $9.50 per hour at Wendy’s when she entered the program and was struggling to make ends meet. However, Jolene was determined to turn her life around and to start a new chapter. When asked what barriers Jolene faced reentering society, Jolene simply replied she really hasn’t had that many. This is likely due to the commitment Jolene put forth to completely turn her life around. Jolene got involved with Second Chance through the Heartland Center for Behavioral Change halfway house.


Immediately after joining the Second Chance program, Jolene signed up with Literacy KC to help improve upon her literacy skills. In just a matter of 5 months, Jolene had already completed her requirements. She opened a savings account and put enough money away to gain financial stability. She learned to effectively budget, established independent housing, and finished her substance abuse treatment. Jolene was promoted to management at Wendy’s. She’s now making nearly double what she was when entering the program.


Jolene’s resource specialist preached “Plan for what you can’t plan for”. Jolene certainly took that piece of advice to heart. According to Jolene, one of the most helpful components of the Second Chance program was one-on-one budgeting and financial organization. Jolene also noted that being able to access felon friendly landlords and furniture assistance was helpful as well. In her own words, “They helped me a whole bunch”. With the budgeting assistance, Jolene has been able to save money and move forward in life. Jolene’s extremely proud of where her savings continue to be today.


Jolene’s advice to others in a similar situation that she was in is to do exactly what she did: take advantage of the program. Jolene came into the program and quickly found stability for her new life. She overcame her addiction, and with the help of Second Chance was able to budget and save for the future. Jolene has now been off parole for over a year and couldn’t be prouder of herself and where she’s at in life.


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