Changing your lifestyle and habits can often be a difficult process to navigate, especially for those returning home from incarceration. This process can also be extra difficult when you’re going through it alone. Second Chance graduate Major Mann has been working diligently for almost two years to create these positive changes for himself and those around him.
Prior to incarceration, Major lived a relaxed lifestyle working as a car salesman in Kansas City. According to Major, he wasn’t making good decisions or taking anything/anyone too seriously. After a while, he decided to move around Europe for a couple of years to explore the world around him. Within a year of his return to the states, Major was unfortunately sentenced to prison for a felony conviction.
During his twenty-three years of incarceration, Major spent a lot of time completing various mental health classes such as anger management and cognitive behavioral therapy. He also developed a small support system with inmates and staff along the way, which he grew to appreciate even more after losing his mother. Although incarceration was not an ideal situation, this time helped Major appreciate his surroundings more and helped him recognize that he does not want to be complacent with himself and his goals.
Once released, Major knew that he wanted to continue bettering himself. Shortly after his release, Major enrolled in the Second Chance program with a referral from his Parole Officer. When he first entered the program, Major was looking for assistance with housing and employment needs. Through Second Chance, he was able to obtain work clothing, bus passes, and rent assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Major is thankful for all of the support he has received from the program, he is most thankful for the constant, non-biased encouragement to do his best and to be honest with himself and others. Besides Second Chance, Major is also grateful for the positive relationship he has with his Parole Officer and the ongoing support from his family.
When asked what advice Major would offer to those who have been in similar situations, he said to avoid making U-turns and stay focused on set goals. “You might not always go forward one day, but at least you didn’t go backwards.” He also wants people to know the importance of creating small, incremental goals over time that contribute to the bigger picture. This mindset has led Major to many successes since his release from incarceration such as working three jobs, purchasing his own car, building his credit, and securing independent housing. Out of all his accomplishments, Major is most proud of rebuilding the relationship with his family and the newfound ability to be truthful to himself and others.
We are extremely proud of Major and the accomplishments he has had since joining the Second Chance program, which he successfully graduated in July 2020. It is obvious that he is a great example of someone who has succeeded once given a second chance. We are excited to see what his future holds!