Edition #4: Stories of second chances
It’s a staggering statistic: Each year, 650,000 individuals exit the criminal justice system*. And one of the key indicators for a successful re-entry is employment. But finding employment can be challenging — many employers aren’t willing to overlook prior missteps. At MOD, we believe you’re defined not by your past, but by what you do next. We’ve found many justice-involved individuals are ready to get to work and have the grit and resilience we value in all our people. So we’ve given many a second chance by hiring them to be part of the MOD Squad.
Fulfilling Potential And Leading The Way
Sophia, an 8-year Squad member, is a perfect example of someone who got a second chance. She began her MOD journey after 3 years in prison and quickly, her passion for people and paying it forward resulted in her becoming a recruiter. Yet some days, she finds herself back in prison — to inspire hope and provide opportunity for others.
We know that some of our second chance Squad members struggle to succeed without ongoing support while they work to become valued members of the MOD family. So we’re starting to develop programs that provide mentorship, resource navigation, and support for those living through re-entry and committed to changing their lives for the better. True to our core purpose, it’ll be MODs helping MODs, creating positive social impact in the lives of our Squad members and their communities.
Justin, General Manager
Moving Up And Paying It Forward
“I ended up in prison at 18 and got out when I was 25. I found a job in property management, got great reviews, but the people at my company weren’t comfortable with my past. They pressured me to leave. A fast food restaurant a half-mile away from my home wouldn’t even hire me at minimum wage. But my sister had worked for MOD and set me up with an interview. I got the job on the spot.
I fell in love with the whole culture of MOD — ‘people before pizza.’ I’m living those values and putting people first. Now I go to job fairs for those exiting the justice system. I’m proud to say I’ve hired three people who are thriving, like me, at MOD. Re-entry is hard — so helping others get back on their feet is the most rewarding part of my life. I’m super grateful to MOD.”
Nic, General Manager
Gaining Confidence And Becoming A Leader
“I spent 15 years destroying my life and all my relationships. So today I focus on rebuilding those relationships with family members and friends. I like to say, ‘it’s 5 miles into the woods and it’s 5 miles out of the woods,’ so that’s what I concentrate on today.
I didn’t believe in myself at first. But my managers at MOD did. They made me want to work harder. The minute I realized I can do more with myself at MOD, I started setting goals and working my ass off. The reason I do this job is to give opportunities to the same people as me. If they are open enough, in recovery, ready, and if I can get them to buy into what MOD is doing, I can help change their life through this job.”
Chelsey, Asst. General Manager
Taking On Challenges And Mentoring Others
“My past was messy. I hung out with the wrong group at a young age and made bad choices. Once I got out, I was on a work release program called Graduated Re-entry. Many of the women I met there talked about MOD. I noticed they hired a lot of women so it felt like a good fit.
After a few months, my manager pushed me to become a Captain. I was hungry and this was something I could do to prove myself to the world. I helped open some new stores and became an Assistant General Manager. MOD has completely changed my life. I have the support of the company. Best of all, I get the chance to teach folks what I know. And when they do that for someone else, that’s the best part of my job.”