Returning back to society after prison is already hard enough on ex-felons in addition to trying to find a job with decent pay, depending on how long they did time and the extent of the crime. There are programs out there that are helping ex-felons transition back into society, such as ProjectEX.
ProjectEX also assists in getting troubled and misguided youth back on the right track. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Pride, the founder of the organization where he chatted on what inspired him to start the movement and his plans for it in the future.
Check out the interview below:
Can you please tell myself and the readers about yourself?
My name is Mike Pride. I’m 32 years old and from Brooklyn, New York. I’m currently on a mission to provoke change and excellence within my community and communities around the world.
Growing and still to this day who were your inspirations? How did they motivate you to go out and be a success?
My parents and grandparents were my inspirations growing up. A lot of the values and attributes I carry today, I can give credit to my mother and grandparents. Hard-working, believing in myself and having Faith in God are a couple of those traits they instilled in me.
What influenced you to get into non-profit and social work?
Seeing people on the streets suffering, whether it be from hunger, being homeless or having no support system to help them in their most desperate times. It touched me and I knew I could do something, even if I started small, to invoke change and make my impact felt.
What inspired you to create Project Ex? Can you explain to us what Project Ex does and hope to accomplish?
I had a vision, it came to me one night like an “ah ha!” moment. I knew it was my direction from God, what I was being called to do. We, at ProjectEX, have a mission to help as many in whatever way we can. We hope by having various events and spreading the word that more and more people will feel the call to make a positive impact on the world.
What are some of the events you’ve already participated in?
To date, we have held a back to school backpack drive for kids in Brooklyn at a women’s shelter; we also did a number of clothes drives where we provided coats, jackets, gloves, hats and clothes to homeless people; and weekly we are out serving food at different locations to those most in need.
What are some upcoming dates and events we as proud supporters should be on the lookout for?
We have a number of exciting events coming up in May and June. The exact dates and locations will be confirmed shortly. I can share those once they’re available. We appreciate and definitely welcome as much support as we can get!
What great advice and words of wisdom can you offer this millennial generation?
To open your eyes and see the world around you. Don’t just follow the masses and go through life blind. Look around at your fellow mankind and reach out to help someone in need. You never know how big of an impact you can have on someone else, you never know what someone else is going through. Extend a hand and in return hopefully a hand will be extended back to you if you’re ever in need.