Andre Norman: From gangs and prison to transforming a system

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.


Instagram: @Andrenorman

Twitter: @Andrenorman


Hope for Prisoners

Prison Fellowship