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Ex-offender uses second chance to help others thrive

Posted: 6:10 AM, Jul 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-25 07:41:05-04
Charles Banks - LEDA re-entry job fair

Charles Banks' life has taken many twists and turns over the years.

"I never thought that I would be here," Banks said. "Coming from a drug lord, a gang member, and sitting in prison. I never thought I'd be where I am today. Being an ex-offender is hard."

Banks said that despite the troubled road, he knew he was destined from something greater.

"Whatever needs to be done starts with you," he said. "That's setting goals and saying, 'Hey! I'm going to press toward the mark.' I'm going to the next step."

To get to that point was not easy.

Banks said that he was constantly turned away from jobs because of his rap sheet.

He did not let that deter him. It made Banks fight harder for what he wanted.

"I just kept the confidence," Banks said. "I knew that there would be some doors that I would not be able to go through and some jobs would not be for me. When you have the confidence and you keep striving and pressing, someone will give you a chance," Banks explained. "Someone will give you that opportunity and will want to see the best in you. There are some best and great people here."

Banks eventually found his calling. He mentors others through ministry and helps them find a place in this world.

"First of all, you've got to find self. It starts with you," Banks said. "If you decide...if you look at the world and the world keeps telling you no, well you'll never be anything. You have to build that up in you. You have to build a hope in you, confidence in you and begin to say I can do these things."

No matter the road, Banks said, there is always a way to a better life. It just depends on how hard a person is willing to work to get there.

There is a "Re-Entry Job Fair 2019" will take place on Thursday, July 25th at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Lafayette.

The job fair is from 10am to noon.

Bring a copy of your resume and dress professionally. For more information on the Re-Entry Job Fair, click here .