The Power of Caring Community: Michael’s Transformation Through I-CAN

The Power of Caring Community: Michael’s Transformation Through I-CAN

01/23/2019

When it comes to reentry success, it truly takes a village. A caring community can transform the most disillusioned of individuals with justice involvement, bridging the gap between hopelessness and a secure ability to thrive. Fortune participant Michael discovered this kind of community in the least likely of places: Rikers Island.

It wasn’t easy in the beginning. “I wasn’t engaged with the world,” he notes. But that quickly changed when he enrolled in The Fortune Society’s I-CAN (Individualized Corrections Achievement Network) program. For the first time, he was able to articulate his feelings in a positive group environment. With encouragement from his case manager, Michael found the power of his inner voice.

“It was a relief to be in touch with my emotions and thoughts. It gave me a new perspective on life.”

Michael, a Fortune participant

When he returned to the community after Rikers, equipped with new skills to succeed, The Fortune Society again welcomed him with open arms. Through their Education program, Michael obtained his High School Equivalency Diploma. And in the Creative Arts program, he enjoyed music, acting, and creative writing courses—new outlets to channel his voice. 

 With plans to grow a clothing line, Michael’s future is limitless. The Fortune community helped him uncover new pieces to his life’s puzzle. For the first time, everything is seamlessly fitting in place. 

“I feel in tune and in sync with the world. Everything’s falling together perfectly,” he shares, "My experiences at Fortune have shaped my life and led me to the path I’m following today.”

Michael, a Fortune participant

Article by Root Stitches LLC

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