WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – People hoping for a second chance after serving prison time took another step toward freedom on Tuesday.
Around 25 people with criminal records showed up at the first Inmates to Entrepreneurs class in New Hanover County. Held in the NHC Library on Chestnut Street, the class was the first in an eight-week course aimed at helping former inmates start businesses.
AJ Ware, who co-founded a communications company at age 15 and is now the owner of Majestic Sports Marketing, spoke to Inmates to Entrepreneurs students Tuesday.
Warria Ricks is participating in the course and said past mistakes don’t have to define a person.
“You can turn what held you down to a positive (and) show other people that you can become victorious,” said Ricks, who was convicted of a felony, but gave the keynote address at Cape Fear Community College’s second annual Community Engagement Awards event in April.
Inmates to Entrepreneurs started in Raleigh and has expanded with programs in Wilmington and Charlotte.