13 Jul Comebacker #2 – Erik Sekol
Each week The Comeback Collective publishes our weekly “Spotlight” article covering someone’s experience with incarceration and where they are at today. Theses articles consist of 5 questions. We hope to humanize formerly incarcerated individuals while also giving those hope and building community.
Where are you from and what was your young life like?
I’m originally from NJ, but I’ve moved around a lot. Currently I’m in Phoenix. I grew up in a middle class area and was pretty introverted and socially awkward.
How did you end up incarcerated? Where did you do your time and for how long?
I had a drug problem and did a lot of things in order to finance my habit. On 1/4/2006 I was arrested in a stolen car and ended up doing about 3 years in NJ.
How long have you been out and what are your goals?
My main goal is to share hope that it does get better. Prison was the easy part, the reentry is the trial. I’m also working on a project to help people with substance abuse problems find immediate treatment regardless of insurance or finances (Project Savior).
What are you doing to bring those goals to life?
I’m taking a different approach than other programs in that I’m using my skillset (mainly digital marketing) in order to fund Project Savior. I feel that applying for small grants is silly at this point. It’s easier and more beneficial to monetize a few websites to fund Savior.
Any advice for others going through it?
Never EVER give up. Even when everything feels hopeless, you’re in tears, and the weight of the world is on your back…. don’t give in. Stay defiant! Be the other end of the statistic. My life isn’t perfect but its exponentially better than what it was when I got out. Bring your skills to the table and figure out how they’re marketable. Try your best not to get angry or discouraged. You WILL be turned down constantly. All you need is that one shot and someone will give that to you. Stay strong my brothers and sisters.
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