DROP-IN CENTER LOCATION

Bethel AME Church

401 E Park St. Champaign IL United States 61820

MAILING ADDRESS

P.O. Box 8923 Champaign, IL 61826

CONTACT

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Marlon Mitchell

Founder/Programs & Services Director

I'm a long time resident of the Champaign-Urbana community. I am passionate and committed to the work that advocates for access, opportunity, and resources for those individuals who have been affected by the criminal justice system. Our mission at FirstFollowers is yeoman's work, but we embrace the "lift as you climb" philosophy.

James Tygar Corbin

Drop-In Center/Peer Mentor Coordinator

I am a social-entrepreneur with a focus in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and, leadership development. My personal style of leadership entails a combination of complexity adaptive system (CAS) and transformative leadership styles. My life's mission involves eliminating generational-poverty in under served communities.

Tamika Davis-Nunez

Community Outreach Specialist/Peer Mentor

I'm a person with purpose. I feel if I can reach just one person I've done a great job. Everyone deserves a second chance and it starts with the person within. If you say you can do it you can just make it clear.

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James Kilgore

Advocacy & Outreach Director

After the experience of six and a half years of incarceration, coming to FirstFollowers has been a wonderful opportunity to give back, to remember those I left behind in prison. An organization like FirstFollowers has the potential not only to help people who are returning home from prison but to mobilize those people to contribute to the community. People who have been in prison can be a great resource for the community if we provide them with opportunity and resources. That is what FirstFollowers is all about. 

Anthony Minor

Peer Mentor

I am a peer mentor of FirstFollowers. I spent 9 yrs in federal prison and 5 years in state prison on two different occasions. FirstFollowers has been a big help to me since my release from prison. They helped me improve my skills and also to stay on the right track in completing my goals since my release from prison.

Charles Davidson

Intake Specialist/Peer Mentor

I am a formerly incarcerated person and I have been in the streets most of my life - I think it's fair to say that I have a PhD when it comes to the street life. The changes I made in my life ignite a passion to help anyone that needs my help. When I came across FirstFollowers I quickly found that we were on the same page. I saw what they were doing and I knew I was blessed. I jumped on board and here I am and here I will be.

Chris Miner

Social Media Manager/Peer Mentor

What I like most about working with FirstFollowers is showing formerly incarcerated individuals that they have opportunities. When I was released, I had no idea if anyone would hire me. If anyone would rent an apartment to me. And, most importantly, I had nobody to talk to, or ask, about things such as this. Eventually, I found my way. But, it wasn’t easy. There were times upon my release that I seriously considered just going back. I think a lot of us do. Fortunately, I had options and privilege that many do not. I took a few calculated risks and found my way through. I kept an eye on friends I was incarcerated with, and sadly observed many of them going back to prison. I felt guilty. And, I felt angry. Why didn’t I help them? What could I have done? I didn’t know what to do. Then I was introduced to FirstFollowers. They were a collective of people who had dealt with the same legal issues as I, and were using the experiences they had collected to educate and empower the formerly incarcerated. They were working to combat and contest the prison industrial complex. And, they were willing to show me how to do it. My goal at FirstFollowers is to let my people know that life doesn’t end the day you are sentenced to prison. Life doesn’t end when some landlord or potential employer runs a background check on you. Life doesn’t end when you break down because nobody will give you a chance. There are people willing to give you that chance. And, I can introduce you to them! I went through all of that, so you don’t need to.

Heather Rose

Health Promoter/Peer Mentor

I am a community health advocate & consultant with primary specialties that implement health promotion & leadership; with a distinctive style of mindfulness. I teach communication, life skills, drug & violence prevention, self-awareness, and self-efficacy. And my purpose is to become and serve as a Life or Wellness Coach for the people of color and the communities in need of diversity.

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