FORCE Leader, Teleza Rodgers, describes Community Renewal Society's FORCE initiative as "a force to be reckoned with."
Indeed, Teleza knows what it takes to be a force for change. Shortly after she started attending FORCE meetings, a light bulb went off for Teleza. She was developed as a FORCE Leader and began advocating at the state level for people like herself who were being denied the right to work in schools, parks, and health care settings because of a criminal record.
"FORCE has allowed me to use my voice and go meet with those who make laws in Springfield," explains Teleza. "Meeting one-on-one with legislators was eye-opening for me...They wanted to hear my story... They sat at the table to work with us to try to figure out how could we restore the people back to a job so they won't go back to jail."
In addition to being a FORCE Leader, Teleza is an Outreach Worker for the YMCA. She works in schools with young people through mentoring and peace circles. Teleza hopes that her students will learn from her and avoid the criminal justice system while becoming advocates for justice.
"It's been a path that I don't take for granted," Teleza says. "I take pride in that. I thank God for that."
Help ensure that the voice of FORCE are heard. Make a donation this #GivingTuesday. A CRS Board Member will match all donations recieved on November 29, up to $2,500. In addition, gifts recieved between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on November 29, will be matched by the Woods Fund. Spread the Word!