Many justice-involved individuals come to Second Chance each year with hopes of creating a better life for themselves and others around them. Through hard work and dedication to bettering himself and his surroundings, Second Chance program graduate Nick Findley has been able to successfully carve out his own path towards success as a Kansas Citian.
After spending three years incarcerated, Nick knew that he didn’t want to revert to his lifestyle of substance abuse and bouncing from job to job in St. Louis. While incarceration was not an ideal situation, it allowed Nick to focus on prior goals he set for himself which included completing his GED, becoming sober, and learning how to cut hair. Although Nick used his time incarcerated to focus on self-improvement, he knew prison was not the place for him. As well as completing his goals while incarcerated, Nick was introduced to Second Chance. Because of the connection he made with the program while incarcerated, he immediately relocated to Kansas City and attended a Job Club session to become enrolled in the program.
For Nick, reentering society in a new city hasn’t always been easy, but having a program like Second Chance has been helpful along the way. When he first transitioned to Kansas City, Nick’s biggest barriers included maintaining sobriety, navigating thinking errors, peer support, and addressing other mental health concerns. Through Second Chance, Nick was able to thoroughly address these barriers, as well as obtain assistance with gainful employment, work clothing/tools, and housing. To Nick, the most important aspect of Second Chance was the unconditional support and trust he received from the staff. Nick is also thankful for his Parole Officer, who has held him accountable along the way.
When asked what advice Nick would give to the reentry population, Nick said to “realize what your vices are and not feed into them when things aren’t going the way you want them to go. If you do give into those vices, don’t beat yourself up over it, but still go after your goals.”
Nick has successfully graduated the Second Chance program as of July 2019 and has also completed parole as of June 2020. He has recently accepted a job with General Motors in the Kansas City area as well. He is most proud of being able to purchase his first vehicle, as well as establishing complete financial independence. Nick is a true example of someone who has succeeded when given a second chance, and the Second Chance staff are so excited to see where his future takes him.