The Sigma Chi Iota Academic Honors Society (Career Services) at Alcorn State University recently collaborated with officials in Natchez, Mississippi to give former offenders a new lease on life.
The Honor Society, in partnership with the Adams County Sheriff's Office, hosted the 2nd Chance Job Fair Wednesday, April 18 at the Adams County Safe Room. The event's purpose was to assist individuals with past legal troubles with record expungements, registration for voters, higher education and work ready programs and assistance with adult basic education stipends. A total of 25 vendors and about 800 members of the community attended the event.
Travis Patten, Adams County sheriff, believes that new opportunities for the former offenders could cause a positive shift in their lives.
"The event was an absolute success because of the turnout and the partnerships that were formed," said Patten. "People were willing to hire on the spot. It's good to give people hope because sometimes, hope is all that people need to succeed."
Joey Mitchell, director of Career Services and the Federal Diversity Program at Alcorn, credits Patten's encouragement for the event's inception.
"I called Sheriff Patten in December of last year to share this idea," said Mitchell. "He is a very persistent individual. He would not let me drop the idea without bringing it to fruition. So after multiple conversations, we met with the Sigma Chi Iota Honors Society executive board and began the planning stages."
For more information about the Office of Career Services or Sigma Chi Iota, contact Mitchell at (601) 877-6324.