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Former Criminal Needs College, Job Advice


Every once in a while I receive a question from someone for which there is no immediate answer.  Today I received a message from a young man who has done jail time, but who wants very much to get his life together.  I called him, and he seems quite sincere.  He gave me his permission to share the question with you.

My hope–and his– is that you will share your advice.  While I pride myself on delivering great college advice, sometimes I think collective wisdom can be more helpful.

Please take the time to read this and to comment.  He will be reading your responses and is eager for your advice.



Hi. Just to let you know, i really appreciate your website. I don’t have any else where to go to for advice on how or what i should do with my life. Here it goes though:

When I was younger, I had some problems dealing with drugs. I dropped out of high school in 10th grade. After that, my life just went downhill. I’ve been in jail. I’ve had 1 strike and about 5 felonies.. I regret everything.
As of now, I am currently 21 years old. I’m a changed man. I’m sober and is trying to get my life back on track. I’m trying to get my diploma at a local college called Rancho Santiago.

The thing is that, I’ve tried looking for jobs everywhere. They won’t accept me due to my history. I mean, how am I suppose to change my life around if I can’t even get a job to support myself and my parents? I feel like my life can’t progress.

Another thing is that I’m also trying to get into a college because my dream job is to become a mechanic one day. That’s my goal. I’ve tried getting into some colleges, mostly the ones that accept one without a diploma. Well, some have called me back.. Everything went well. They said that I could get in. But then, they asked me about my history.. When i told them, they said sorry and that i could’nt get in. I’m feeling hopeless. I can’t get a job or even apply for college..

I know i’ve done some bad life decisions. But I’m hoping, I’m really hoping that I can have a second chance to have a rewarding life. Can you please recommend me in to what I should do? Either in job or education wise? or possibly both? Thankyou.

Oh, and also that if I do get a chance to get into college, do you think that somewhere out there, I can get to be a mechanic? Thankyou very much in advance. I really hope that you would help me out in this one. I really do.

Thanks again.


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