This weekend my wife, Heidi, and I took a tour of a remarkable re-education center in Salt Lake City called The Other Side Academy. Few experiences have inspired us more than seeing the work and hearing the stories of those involved.
If you’re unfamiliar with The Other Side Academy or TOSA, it is an academy that through an application process accepts repeat offenders who have been in and out of the prison system. Over the course of two years, the program changes these men and women from the outside in. The program teaches participants through discipline, education, accountability, and love how to change their lives and live a life of joy and productivity as honest, law-abiding members of society.
The program is experiencing tremendous success. Over 95% of the program’s graduates are living productive, successful lives and are staying out of prison. The program is intense. Students say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done. But when they graduate they are changed people who have new hope and a new life.
The remarkable thing is that TOSA is not a government-run program. They do not rely on tax-payer money or donations to operate. TOSA, through their own student-run businesses, is a self-sustaining program. The Other Side Moving company ( https://theothersidemovers.com/)
and The Other Side Thrift Store (https://m.facebook.com/TOSAThriftBoutique) both run by the students, are able to pay for academy’s operations. Both the moving company and the boutique store have hundreds of five-star reviews. The moving company has quickly risen to the top as one of the premier, most trusted moving services in the state.
As my wife and I received the tour of the facilities, we met numerous academy students. Hearing their stories and feeling the spirit of change, hope, and love in that building, we were truly touched. If you’d like to learn more, visit their website:
There are many ways to help including spreading the word, using their moving services, donating to their thrift store, and being a mentor. Heidi and I look forward to partnering with TOSA and being more involved and hope you will join us.
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