“When I walked through the door at Second Chance Center the first time, they could see that I was lost. They picked me up and told me I had to stay focused no matter what. It’s been a hard journey, I’ve been through a lot. But when I look back now, I see the strength and the growth that came from staying focused. This is what I want young men like me to understand.” These words, spoken by a Second Chance Center client and now mentor in training, are reflective of so many of our clients’ experience here.
The Never Going Back mentoring program at Second Chance Center is one of our most successful programs and builds on the tactics from Hassan Latif’s book Never Going Back: 7 Steps to Staying Out of Prison. From “Owning Your Own Crap” to thought shifting work we are helping people make a plan to take control of their life after prison.
It is our goal to expand the mentoring program and we know that those who walked the path to successful re-entry are the most effective mentors and leaders to help us do just that. In a recent training led by Adam Abdullah we discussed what it means to be a mentor and the importance of understanding the personal change process. It is only when we can identify our own triggers (positive and negative) that we can help others to make positive changes. Thoughts plus feelings create behavior. Changing our thoughts, while a simple and straightforward concept, takes focus and effort that many of us aren’t used to practicing. Second Chance Center clients who have completed the program know the importance of this and can share their own struggles with those who are just beginning to walk this path. Our mentors speak honestly about trauma, disappointments and how they find purpose and hope after prison.
The 12 session training curriculum developed by Hassan Latif provides a deep dive that prepares mentors to be guides for using the seven steps of staying out of prison. Participants will learn the language of the corrections systems and the terms that are often used to describe our clients’ journey in re-entry, mental health and substance abuse counseling. They’ll discuss how to help others tune in to their internal guidance system and the value of powering up through thought shifting. While these mentors in training have gone through these steps on their own, learning how to guide others in a thoughtful and consistent way is what will lead them to effectively help others create a success plan for their life.
The NGB mentor pledge states: “I understand as a mentor, I must live the principles I teach and constantly be a model of growing in my own personal journey.” By making the commitment to pay it forward and help others these mentors are a great example of just that!
To support the Never Going Back Mentor Training and other SCC programs make a donation of any amount here.