Featured RAP Member: Lewis Conway Jr.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00085]Name: Lewis Conway Jr.

Three words that describe you: Blessed, grateful and appreciative.

What are the top challenges that you faced when reentering? The top challenges I faced were employment and a lost sense of identity.

What resources have you found most helpful for reenteringThe best resource I was able to discover that assisted me the most with my reentry was entrepreneurship and my willingness to learn. From day one there was no ‘systemic’ assistance or guidance, only the threat of re-incarceration if I didn’t find a way to employ myself. I created businesses and relationships for the first 12 years of my freedom solely to stay out of prison; now I do it to create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for others that are forced to take an alternative track towards their success.

Did you have a mentor or a role model? Once I connected with my purpose and discovered my work, I was influenced greatly by the works of Les Brown, Earl Nightingale, Myles Munroe and Kevin Trudeau; but prior to that I had no tangible role model of someone formerly incarcerated or a willing mentor to guide me.

What drives your passion and makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning? What drives my passion and gets me out of bed every morning is my vision. I have a vision of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of men and women across the globe by creating a spiritual and practical eco-system of reentry. I envision a vehicle that provides the formerly incarcerated access to employment, housing, treatment, education and spiritual development by creating lateral partnerships with local, state and federal governmental agencies.

Why do you participate in the Reentry Advocacy Project? I participate in the Reentry Advocacy Project, firstly because I am formerly incarcerated and I was desperately seeking someone to connect with that had a similar background. Secondly, as a African-American male directly impacted by the negative effects of incarceration, I have to be just as much a part of the solution as I was the problem. Thirdly, RAP affords me the opportunity to engage, rather than just complain.

What words of wisdom do you have for others leaving incarceration? My words of wisdom are: stick to the basics. Plan your work and then work your plan. Be teachable, be changeable, be faithful and don’t quit. Connect with people who have been where you are and have what you want.

What accomplishments are you most proud of? The accomplishments I am most proud of are my children.

What do you identify as having made a difference for you in your success? I believe success is a process as opposed to a destination; with that in mind, I believe God connecting me to my purpose and defining my work has been the difference in my success. Along with learning the laws of attraction, learning the benefits of master-minding with like-minded individuals and learning the power of faith and belief, have made the ultimate difference in my “success”.

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The Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable is collaborative promoting safe and healthy communities through effective reentry and reintegration of formerly incarcerated persons and individuals with criminal histories in Austin/Travis County, Texas.

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