ST. LOUIS – The Urban League of St. Louis is putting together its first boot camp, a transition to change program for men and women looking for work and a fresh start.
“This is another look at recidivism and how to answer the economic call and how to be a family,” said Jamie Dennis, director of the Urban League’s Save Our Sons program. “What happens is a lot of times they don't have an exit strategy when they are coming out of a parole situation, so we are trying to be the conduit for that crew.”
Most of the men and women at the boot camp have spent time behind bars. Some are required to go to this training as part of their parole, but most are choosing to come on their own; looking for help like Danny Jackson, a former drug dealer.
“I came down here to the Save Our Sons program for a change,” he said. “To be better me. I want to raise my sons better, be a role model for them, and be a better me.”
The Urban League of St. Louis recognizes the crime problem we have in St. Louis. The leadership also says they want to deal in helping people now and not waiting for another day.
“Teach them soft skills in a crash course format. It’s not long. Three days, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Just trying to maximize their skills,” Dennis said.
And that's what this program is all about. Dennis says they will certainly have more programs like this in the future.
“…I look like new money. I look better now. Like I’m somebody that needs to be in an office,” Jackson said.