Eight amazing youth graduated from CEED's Second Chance Program in December 2012.
One of our recent graduates, Chris Gallant, was voted by his peers to be this year’s valedictorian. With Chris’ permission we are sharing some of his remarks with you.
Erin Dorrington, who also recently graduated, is a talented young woman who faced profound challenges this year. She wanted to share the story of how Second Chance has helped her, in hopes that others can learn from her experience. Here is an excerpt from her remarks.
What is the 'Second Chance' program?
CEED’s Second Chance is a one-year program that uses entrepreneurship models, business concepts and the art of planning as tools to assist youth (Ages 15-30) in conflict with the law in gaining the skills needed to become successful in life.
The Second Chance Program teaches participants employability preparation, workplace readiness, career goal-setting and the value of life planning by using community projects that incorporates a business planning framework. In essence the program is about the “Business of Life”.
For over a decade, the program has demonstrated immense success in reaching its goals. Each year, 10-12 participants take part in the program, with more than 100 graduates; some going on to university or community colleges; some achieving full-time employment; others using what they've learned to start a small business.
How does the 'Second Chance' program work?
As one of CEED’s social entrepreneurship programs, Second Chance is based on the recognition that many young people who come into conflict with the law possess misdirected entrepreneurial characteristics. The program methodology can be described as follows:
- It is client-centered.
- It takes a holistic approach.
- It places emphasis on personal development.
- It utilizes CEED’s philosophy and approach.
Through group projects, Second Chance allows the participants to “give back” to society and address issues of local concern. As participants learn the ‘Business of Life’, they will gain employability skills and partake in life planning and goal setting activities. In teams, the participants develop, plan and execute community projects with the goal of making a difference in society. This giving back allows the youth involved in the program the chance to take focus off of their own lives and make a positive impact on the lives of others. The result is the transformation from someone who may have had a negative influence on society to someone who has an extremely positive influence; an individual who often leaves a significant impact on the lives of others.