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Instilling Change: Maurice Blacknoll

Maurice Blacknoll was born in St. Louis and raised by his mother and oldest sister in Kansas City. By the age of 11, Maurice was faced with a lack of food and was struggling to survive. Maurice was living his life amongst his peers who were fighting the same battle. Unfortunately, Maurice soon succumbed to peer pressure and fell into life on the streets. These decisions would land him in jail at the young age of 17.

During his incarceration, Maurice could only think about his desire to change. Through Intensive Treatment Community (ITC), a long-term treatment program in the institution, he was given the opportunity to process and plan for the transformation he wanted to embody. While incarcerated, Maurice acquired his GED (General Education Diploma) and completed anger management. He was released with a new mindset after being incarcerated for 31 years. Maurice has his Parole Office to thank for recommending the Second Chance program. He was finally directed to the right path for a successful reentry.

Maurice was eager to return to the community. With the assistance of Second Chance, he admits he has gained stability, and has also learned what it means to have support and a listening ear. Before enrolling in Second Chance, Maurice realized that everything he had been doing to get on his feet was not working. No doors were opening for him, and he was feeling overwhelmed with defeat. Second Chance had the resources and staff he needed to become the changed man he is now. Maurice noted that the counseling and feedback have been a Godsend.

When asked what advice he would give someone in a similar situation, Maurice expressed he would tell them to, “Sign up for Second Chance, it’s worth it. The Resource Specialists have been amazing, and their staff will be in your corner.” He is most proud of the changes he has made to better his life and his future. Maurice is now able to keep in contact with his siblings in a more meaningful way. With a new outlook on life and hope for his future, Maurice continues to take each day one step at a time.

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