Teens Get ‘JOLT’ to Succeed at San Diego’s ‘Second Chance’

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SAN DIEGO - Armando Aguilar, now a lanky 20-year-old from Oceanside, Calif., needed a job, a break from the gang and drug dealing crazy life. Second Chance got him that job and it also gave him a new start, a real second chance at life.

Second Chance, located deep in the heart of San Diego’s southeast corner, where some of the city’s poorest, predominantly minority neighborhoods are located, was founded in 1993 by Scott Silverman, a dynamic former multi-substance drug addict. Since its founding, Second Chance boasts that it has transitioned more than 5,000 people out of poverty to self sufficiency, including the homeless, substance abusers and folks with prison records.

After first working with adults, it became apparent to Second Chance that the teenage population needed similar services. Indeed, many adults who came through Second Chance’s doors had children also in the juvenile justice system. So, in 2009, Second Chance debuted the Juvenile Options for Lifelong Transition, or JOLT, with the goal of integrating juvenile offenders recently released from residential facilities back into the community. Second Chance received two multi-year grants from the San Diego Workforce Partnership and the San Diego County Probation Department, which works closely with JOLT.

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