A Former Gangster and Ex-Prisoner From Jamaica Shares His Powerful Story

1 min read

Originally from Jamaica, this man who once live a life of crime, shows the power of second chances

Alrick “Ricky Reid” is a Jamaican born writer, mentor, chef and father of two, who has spent the majority of his life living in the UK.

He moved to England in the 1990’s to make a better life for himself, having spent his childhood living in poverty and neglect. But as with so many young men with unstable backgrounds, whose early lives are characterized by violence, crime and a lack of strong role models, he got involved with a gang attempting an armed robbery, and was sent to prison in the UK in 1997.

This incredibly emotive TEDx talk is the story he would like to tell his children. It’s the story of a man who has spent most of his life ‘invisible’. Most people wrote him off. The government see him as a number on a piece of paper. A number they’d like to remove. However through the kindness and mentoring of a few exceptional individuals while Ricky was serving his prison sentence 20 years ago, he learnt to read properly, discovered the power of words, and set himself on a different trajectory – a life devoted to helping other young people from underprivileged backgrounds, a life of service and humility to his community. He was given a second chance at life – and he took it. He’s now a published author.

Story curated from The Power of Second Chances | Ricky Reid | TEDxBristol.

Tisha Ricketts

Born and raised in Freeport Bahamas, I am a lover of Caribbean life and all things equal. I believe that someday, the Caribbean will come together as one nation

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