Participation Nation
6:33 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Reading For Life In South Bend, Ind.

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 1:08 pm

Seven years ago, Alesha Seroczynski became a central character in an incredible story about second chances for juvenile offenders in South Bend. With the University of Notre Dame, she developed Reading for Life, a program that combines reading literature, studying seven classic virtues — Justice, Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, Fidelity, Hope, Charity — and being mentored to help students make better life choices.

Alesha and more than 30 volunteer mentors have graduated 150 juveniles from the program — 97 percent have not re-offended.

Alesha sees potential in people who society has begun to write off, and the trajectories of many lives have been changed.

Amy Jobst is the assistant director of the Youth Justice Project at the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center in South Bend. She listens to WVPE.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.