Andre Norman is the reason to believe in second chances. His tenacity and passion for people led him to start his transformational program, The Academy of Hope, a program designed to reduce institutional violence in prisons by providing an intense level of intervention while also creating a positive environment for the inmate population and staff.
Nearly two decades ago, Norman was serving a 100-year sentence in prison, but he was
no regular prisoner. A natural-born leader, he rose to be the top gang leader within the
facility, running all the daily gang activity.
After an epiphany in solitary confinement, Norman made the decision to turn his life
around. He had a simple dream to attend Harvard University and become successful.
Over the next 8 years, Andre worked 20-hour days to make this dream a reality. He
taught himself how to read, then to study and understand the law, and then volunteered
to participate in anger management groups.
After winning his appeal and being armed with a GED and a dream, Andre walked out of prison in 1999, after serving 14 years.
Norman released his first book titled “Ambassador of Hope: Turning Poverty
and Prison into a Purpose-Driven Life.” He also is developing various training manuals to
help better serve companies and institutions.