In April the U.S. Department of Justice is celebrating what is known as Second Chance Month which aims to “build meaningful second chances” for individuals returning back into the communities after having spent time in the prison system.
My Story Matters is an organization based out of Springville that is dedicated to this cause all year long with the added initiative of telling the stories of many of these individuals. This organization does so by recognizing the importance of helping individuals, communities and agencies across the country by supporting the safe and successful reentry of millions of people returning from incarceration.
“My entire life I grew up on the streets,” one of the beneficiaries of My Story Matters wrote. “I moved from ‘home’ to ‘home’ and never knew where my next meal was coming from. From the time I was young I learned to survive. I didn’t see any other way of living.”
There are dozens of these stories inside the walls of the prison and jails in Utah. Every week, certified guides with My Story Matters teach individuals to dream again by identifying what in their story needs changed and what future they want to create. The hope is to empower them with the tools they need to chase that vision of transformation for themselves.
Here at My Story Matters, our goal is not to remove justice; we are there to provide a path and inspiration for transformation so that when these individuals return to our societies, we are happy to have them as neighbors. We have also learned the value of needing solid reentry support networks to ensure their success in returning to society with avenues and communities for success.
We believe that life is full of second chances for everyone, whether behind metal bars or behind the bars of life that just hold us back. The questions we ask those in our care are the same questions we ask ourselves: What are you looking for to give your life the joy and happiness that you deserve? What do you want in life? What will it take for you to get excited and go after your hopes and dreams?
My Story Matters brings the tangible to the intangible as you work to build a future you want. As you begin to find a voice for what you want and take the necessary action steps, you will see that vision come to life. What a great opportunity to give yourself a second chance at whatever you want to create for your next chapter.
During the month of April and all year long, we at My Story Matters, hope that you will join us in supporting second chances.
If you or a loved one is in need of support, please go to mystorymatters.org.