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ORGANIZATIONS

JOIN A COMMUNITY WITH A SHARED MISSION OF BREAKING CHAINS AND BUILDING FUTURES.

When someone is incarcerated or struggling with addiction, it touches the lives of all those around them. As much as colleagues and mentors may want to help, however, they often feel powerless; they don’t know the best way to show their support and likely need support themselves.

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SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY

At 2nd Opportunity, we enjoy collaborative relationships with businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies that allow us to share our lived experience and programming with their populations—with a mutual end goal of empowering individuals who have experienced life-changing setbacks to build a better future.

Our variety of distribution methods—in person, via WebEx or Zoom, online, and via tablet—makes it possible for us to accommodate organizations’ needs and comply with any restrictions. Virtual programming and virtual peer support allow us to forge a bond with participants even when we can’t meet in person.

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OUR APPROACH

HELPING INDIVIDUALS HELP THEMSELVES

2nd Opportunity’s programming is catered to individuals struggling with incarceration, addiction, trauma, loss, and other negative life-changing events. Our courses aim to build participants’ dignity and self-worth while empowering them to improve their lives. Our program presenters – men and women with lived experience themselves – serve as guides, helping participants build (or rebuild) their confidence, providing resources and referrals to help them get back on their feet, and arming them with the skills and tools they need to become working, self-sufficient members of society — and stay that way.

PROGRAM OFFERINGS

We recommend that you take our three courses in the sequence presented below. Because we believe the content is so valuable and don’t want you to miss any of it, we offer a discounted rate when you sign up for the three-course program bundle. Here’s what to expect for each:

A PATH FORWARD©

 

A program designed for those who are re-entering society after being released from jail or prison. The most comprehensive of our three courses, A Path Forward© includes two hours of video instruction, a 42-page workbook, and activities and quizzes to reinforce the material covered.

Your program presenter will guide you through:

  • Examining trauma and its impact on your behavior

  • Understanding the essential concepts and challenges of starting over

  • Defining what success means to you and what really matters in your life

  • Crafting your story and talking about your background on job interviews

  • Being part of a team and dealing with workplace conflict

  • And much more

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A PATH TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM©

 

A program designed to teach participants the fundamentals of finance needed to function in today’s world. The course includes 90 minutes of video instruction, a 23-page workbook, and activities and quizzes to ensure participants are absorbing the material.

Basic skills covered include: 

  • Budgeting

  • Operating a checking account

  • Paying taxes

  • Applying for financial aid

  • Filling out employment forms

  • Establishing credit

  • And much more

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VALUES-ALIGNED GOAL SETTING©

 

An interactive workshop designed to help people reevaluate and rebuild following incarceration by determining their values and setting attainable goals that will set them up for long-term success. Participants will have access to two hours of video instruction, a 35-page workbook, and quizzes, activities and goal-setting worksheets they can refer back to for years to come as they progress through their career and life goals.

Throughout the course, you’ll learn how to:

  • Determine your values

  • Set “bedrock” and “building” goals

  • Identify potential obstacles to reintegrating into society

  • Develop and pursue a meaningful career path

  • And much more

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Dedicated Support Network

NETWORKS

Referrals for employment, housing, substance abuse counseling, and other essential support services.

TRAINING

Skills development courses, lectures and webinars.

SUPPORT GROUP

Virtual and In-person peer-to-peer meetings and connections.

MENTORING

One-on-one mentoring for those who need additional support.

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Get Started

If you didn’t have the opportunity to take 2nd Opportunity’s courses while in jail or prison, you can access them through our website and complete them at your own pace. Still have questions? Feel free to email us or call us at 847-257-2713.

Recent Success Stories

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Having spent years stuck in the vicious cycle of jail and rehab, Mike M. now believes that ‘anything is possible’ after taking 2nd Opportunity’s re-entry, financial literacy, and goal-setting classes during a stint in Kane County Jail.

Despite the challenges, Chicago business owner Tom Decker is on a mission to turn individuals with a background into committed, loyal employees.

Incarcerated for drug-related crimes, Peter Hoistad focuses on shaping the next chapter of his life–one hurdle at a time.

Incarcerated for a Survival Crime, Willette Benford Learns She Was Meant to Thrive