Convicts are helped in returning to society in Cleveland by two local programs, EDWINS and North Star Neighborhood Reentry Center. On Tuesday, Nov. 17, students in an Event Planning course are bringing in a speaker named Brandon Chrostowski for part of their semester project. Their assignment is to plan and carry out a major event, and as part of this they are introducing Chrostowski, founder of EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute in Cleveland.
By introducing students to programs such as these, they will have the opportunity to be more transparent and open-minded toward people who are different from themselves. EDWINS believes they can change the face of reentry across the world, and John Carroll is involved in a similar program. The Center for Service and Social Action gives students the opportunity to volunteer at North Star Neighborhood Reentry Center, an organization dedicated to help ex-convicts re-enter society as well.
EDWINS provides a unique approach at giving formerly incarcerated adults a foundation in reentering society. Its mission is “to teach a skilled trade in the culinary arts, empower willing minds through passion for the hospitality industry and prepare students for a successful transition into the world of business professionals.”
North Star provides a variety of programs, including a process of mock-interviews and resume building that is intended to help one find the confidence needed to reenter former communities. EDWINS is an ideal candidate for these individuals. Marcus Owens, a 2014 JCU graduate, volunteered at North Star last year. He says, “North Star is where I put faces to the American Justice System. Working with people who were literally the same age as me but had such different experiences was life-changing.”
It is beneficial to introduce programs such as EDWINS and North Star to the JCU community so students and staff fully understand the importance of second chances for people who break the law. Although these individuals have committed crimes, they deserve the opportunity to feel valuable and to gain experience.