How A French Restaurant In Cleveland Is Helping Ex-Cons
When you’re an ex-convict, looking for a job is one of the hardest things you can go through while you try to rebuild your life. Think about the last time you filled out an application form for a job. Do you remember the question that asks you, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” And here’s where the catch-22 comes into play. If you lie and say ‘no’, the truth will come out eventually and you might lose the position. Tell the truth at the beginning and say ‘yes’, and you won’t even be selected for an interview.
For Brandon Chrostowski, his passion for helping ex-cons get back on their feet is commendable – and it’s all because a judge gave him a second chance when he was younger. As a teenager, he was faced with a prison sentence, but the judge gave him a break. While on probation, he met a chef who ultimately changed his life for the better.
His restaurant, EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute, is a French fine-dining establishment located in Cleveland, Ohio. Not only is it a reputable establishment, as of writing, it has 4.5 stars on Yelp and every review is 3 stars or more – an outstanding achievement for a restaurant that was opened in 2013.
Not only that, for the 200+ students that have gone through Edwins’ six month program, not one of them has re-offended. Over the six month period, students get 40-50 hours worth of training each week, and they get paid. The training could be informational or hands-on, ranging from wine education to properly preparing food. With their newly acquired skills, even 90% have found permanent employment.
Chrostowski has proven that everyone deserves a second chance – as long as they’re willing to put in the work to better themselves. For his efforts, Chrostowski received the CNN Heroes Award in 2016.