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HELLO,

     My name is Barbara Kavanagh. I am retired from the Queens Borough Public Library after 27 years in the Security Department. I started my career there as a secretary and retired as the Assistant Director of Logistics, Security Management. I was responsible for all emergency responses to our Central Library, 63 branch located throughout Queens, New York. I was on call  24/7.

 

As you can imagine the emergencies were often and varied in description and I built a strong relationship with the Queens New York City Police Department during my time there. 

 

Public Libraries are a haven for teens all over the nation and Queens was no different. The Library offered after- school programs to attract teens but after being in school all day they were only interested in using our free computers and hanging out with their friends. We spent a lot of time breaking up fights, and trying to contain their high spirits. A lot of shop lifting was involved and as a result I was working closely with the Queens District Attorneys Office, but I was not happy prosecuting the teens. 

 

I was constantly looking to change their behavior and keep them out of trouble.  The DA’s office asked the Security Department if we would work with them on a special program for first time teen offenders, who once they completed our 6 months program and stayed out of trouble earn themselves an ACD, adjournment contemplating dismissal which would result in their records being sealed. 

 

We designed a program that taught the students how to write resumes, how to attend job interviews, create a budget, balance a checkbook and most importantly respect and value themselves. We brought experts from the Human Resources Departments, Banks and mentor groups to assist us in this unique program. 

 

Pizza was usually on the menu as they were hungry when they came to the Library. It was also easier to keep their attention focused when their bellies were full.  I admit that I was concerned that I might not be able to control a group of 10-15 teenagers for 2 hours twice a week, but I soon learned that they were just as concerned and eventually became eager to learn. 

 

The most important aspect of the program was helping them believe that they mattered and that they had a place in life and could accomplish anything they wanted. For most of the participants this was a new concept and they were intrigued.

 

We celebrated their success in completing the course with a graduation party for them, their family and friends complete with large graduation cake and speakers from the DA’s office, NYPD, the mentors who worked with them and if his schedule allowed, the District Attorney himself. 

 

During a meeting with the NYPD I was told about a very powerful speaker who was guaranteed to reach “my kids”. I was skeptical  when I first heard about this speakers history and doubted he was the right person to put in a room full of impressionable teens, but it turned out I was wrong and became thoroughly convinced after listening to him present to the group at his first class that he was a positive asset to the group!

 

This speaker I am referring to is Kenneth Gilmore, Jr., and he was the missing piece to our program. From the first class Mr. Gilmore spoke to the group with the utmost respect and they treated him the same way. Over the course of the  program all of the teens responded to Kenny’s workshop (Real Self-False Self) and they were respectful and intent on learning from him. 

 

Even the most hardened teen who wore a mandatory ankle bracelet was in awe of this man with such a long prison history who never raised his voice. What he had to say about his life and the hard earned lessons that brought him to us resounded with truth. 

 

Mr. Gilmore taught the group that they were important and had other roads to travel besides the road they were on. He reminded them that it was ok to want a different, better life and that they now had a chance to succeed and accomplish such a life!

 

Their families were amazed at the difference in them and were very thankful for the program. We were blessed to be part of the Second Chance Program for approximately 12 years and nurtured over 3000 teens during that time. 

 

Unfortunately politics changed many things in the DA’a office and the Library and the program was cancelled. I continued to have Kenny meet with the teens at most of the library branches and teach his workshop at our new Teen Center in Far Rockaway where his experience was in great demand.

 

I retired from the Library at the end of 2017 and kept sporadic touch with Kenny.  When Kenny suggested we form a 501(c)(3) to address the crime issues and gang related activity across the nation I was intrigued. I missed the teens, “my kids”, and watching them change for the better in front of our eyes and thought we could do the same with all the neglected, forgotten segments of society.  

 

From the moment Home of Crime Prevention & Life Skills Speakers & Workshops, Inc. was born, we knew it was an important program that would change lives. I am sharing this with you because I believe that Kenneth Gilmore, Jr. can help the criminal-minded individuals you may know change their lives and become better people.

 

We have previously worked with individuals who were destroying their lives and we are proud to say that ALL THE PARTICIPANTS HAVE TURNED THEIR LIVES AROUND AFTER COMPLETING OUR WORKSHOPS. 

 

Our organization would like to offer our services because we are certain that we can help people overcome their “core issues” that are in need of our assistance.

 

If you retain our services, our speakers will share first hand their prison experiences with the group or individual sessions about what they can expect when a person violates the law - lengthy prison sentences and lonely sleepless nights incarcerated in a 6’by 9’ cell surrounded by cold steel bars, while far too often being subjected to abuse (victimized) by staff and other inmates. 

 

Gilmore’s painful reality about the price he paid for being a “bad boy” paints such a horrible picture that it causes people to think and ultimately makes them come to terms about everything they can lose. The workshops divulge how his foolish actions helped destroy the very people he loved - his family and friends - and, more importantly, members of society!

 

As a result, at the end of the workshops, the participants think differently than when they first came into the program and they reconnect with their “True Self” and proceed to make better choices in the future. 

 

Our workshops have helped many individuals who have exhibited questionable behavior to become law abiding citizens. We have a very unique program with six workshops available that are mostly facilitated by men and women who have served lengthy prison sentences and who have all turned their lives around; and also educated professionals who are willing to sacrifice their time to help make a difference in society.

 

We are asking you to retain our company and/or DONATE to our program so that we may save people in need of our services before it is too late.

 

Sincerely,

Barbara Kavanagh

Non Salary Executive Advisor

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