The Power of Second Chances

Early during my time at Belay Enterprises, I became a big fan of Prison Entrepreneurship Project (PEP) and it's passionate founder Catherine Hoke because of our shared affinity for creating opportunities for ex-offenders through business development. Belay even spent a year developing our own jail based commercial kitchen employment and training program inspired by the results PEP was achieving behind bars. Though we ultimately decided to focus on other program priorities, I continued to be a big fan of harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of ex-offenders to create employment opportunity and reduced recidivism rates.

But then in 2009, Catherine made a big mistake and she had to leave PEP. I felt so bad for her and was sad that her voice for ex-offenders disappeared.

Yet, her story was not over when she experienced her own second chance, starting Defy Ventures in 2010. I participated as a speaker on a panel with her a few years later in New York City where her passion and talent was on full display, accentuated by her own experience of a second chance to do what she loves on behalf of ex-offenders.

Now she has written a book, A Second Chance: For You, For Me, And For The Rest Of Us, that beautifully details how her experience of grace has transformed her life and mission.

Tim Ferris, one of my favorite podcasters, also has a wonderful long-form interview with Catherine here.


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