Jay Borchert can proudly say he’s been clean for ten years. Earlier in his life, he worried that might never be the case, but after six trips to the penitentiary, he decided enough was enough and decided to change his life.
A key part of Borchert’s turnaround came when he decided to further his education.
“I’ve been going to school, first at Harold Washington and then at DePaul,” he said. “I’ve been at DePaul for two years. I’m on an academic scholarship and grants to pay for most of my schooling. I’m going to be going into a doctoral program in public health.”
Borchert credits the support he received at Safer Foundation’s North Lawndale Adult Transition Center for helping him straighten out his life.
“I think what Safer did was allow me to establish some healthy networks,” he said. “So that when I got out it wasn’t just me against the world, it was me and some new friends.”
Borchert hopes to use his education and combine it with his past experiences to help others who might be in need of assistance as they struggle with drug addiction.
“I’m very interested in helping under-served populations, of which prisoners and former prisoners are at the top of the list,” he said. “Hopefully, the work I’m doing and my example will have an effect on other people’s lives.
Regardless, Borchert says he is now in a much better place.
“My worst days now are 10 times better than my best days then,” he said.
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