A Moline man who served time and considers himself a “returning citizen” has come full circle.

Jeff Wallace spent a lot of time in prison, but now serves on the board of a foundation that gives people second chances.

The Safer Foundation’s director, Sue Davison, is Wallace’s former youth worker when he was on probation.  

The two remember each other well.  

“I was in a program called … Unified Delinquency Intervention Services and she was a youth worker,” Wallace said. “(Davison) would come and pick up all of us kids in the neighborhood and take us for the day to do pro-social activities.”

Wallace later spent four years in solitary confinement before one day he “woke up” and turned his life around.

Davison works with justice-impacted individuals – both adults and young people, at The Safer Foundation, where education plays a major role in redirecting clients.

“One of the focuses of our components is education, so we know research tells us education and employment, all those pro-social activities are going to help reduce recidivism or the likelihood of returning to a past lifestyle,” Davison said.

Davison remembers Wallace from his younger years.  

“I do remember Jeff very well back in those days,” she said. “Then he came to apply for a job here at Safer and I will be quite honest, I did not recognize him and it was halfway through the interview. I was just so impressed to hear his story and where he journeyed.”

Now, Wallace has brought a lot to The Safer Foundation.  

“He’s had such an impact on the young people in our youth program,” Davison said. “He reached a lot of families, a lot of young people. He was a positive mentor and he was an exceptional supervisor Who was always there for his team.”

Which wasn’t necessarily the case when he was growing up.  

He was, Davison said, “A little stubborn like all of the young people were at that time that we were dealing with. All of the kids, I see them all as having a lot of potential. And Jeff was just like so many of our young people that have so much potential and so much to contribute to society.”

For more about Wallace, visit his website at https://visionleadershipandproductions.com