A Dedicated Father with a Secure Career, Thanks to I-CAN

A Dedicated Father with a Secure Career, Thanks to I-CAN


“Being a father is surreal,” says Deeazo. It changed everything for him and made him look at life in an entirely new light. Surrounded by poverty, drugs, and violence in Brooklyn, he knew that his young daughter deserved better. 

Incarceration at Rikers Island could have crushed his desire for change, but Deeazo is determined—once he was mentally committed to a new way forward, giving up wasn’t an option. 

“I knew that I wanted to be present in my child’s life. I made a promise to myself and my family to never return to Rikers."

This internal promise found community support. Staff within The Fortune Society’s I-CAN (Individualized Corrections Achievement Network) program are committed to helping individuals incarcerated at Rikers develop a plan for reentry success. Ivette Pagan, Fortune’s Rikers Island Operations Supervisor, encouraged Deeazo to pursue employment training with I-CAN. Soon enough, Deeazo completed a 10-Hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training and received flaggers’ licensing. This employment-optimized certification created a domino effect of achievements upon Deezo’s release. He’s a now a flagger at an airport, with a clear path of growth in his field. But most importantly, Deeazo is now the father his daughter needs.

“Having a secure job has allowed me to provide for my family, improve my lifestyle, and create stability in my life.”

As Deeazo, Michael, and Deniz show, Fortune’s I-CAN program is a truly transformative approach to justice, helping to build people, not prisons. With over 51 years of examples, we know our programs work—and so does Deeazo:

“[My daughter’s] future is promising and, thanks to I-CAN, so is mine.”

Article by Root Stitches LLC

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