The following is a YouTube video by Michael D'Aguiar, a federal ex-offender, who attends every New Start graduation and mentors our participants.
Partners and Graduates:
"This was good for my heart. It brings back the good in me."
–Anonymous, Class of 09/17
"I would like to say thank you very much for sticking by us through these trying times. I know you all try your best to make us feel like a person and not an inmate. I was afraid to talk about my past but because of you, I'm ready to face the world once again."
–Wendel, Class of 04/17
"Your program is one of the few substantial and successful programs."
–State of Delaware Probation Officer, 04/17
"Thanks for everything. You guys helped change my life."
–Julius, Class of 04/16
"You have shown a genuine commitment to providing quality education, job training and cognitive restructuring for those in need of living wage jobs; specifically, those citizens returning from state and federal custody. Your hard work complements the work of both federal and state probation officers, and is invaluable."
–Walter Matthews, Chief US Probation Officer, Delaware
"The New Start program was wonderful. You guys pull things out of people they never knew were in them."
–Keith, Class of 04/15
"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this program. It’s because of you I have a new meaning to my life. Thank you very much!"
–Rick, Class of 04/15
"I’m committed to the program. I believe in what you're attempting to accomplish. Whenever you need an extra hand or a referral please feel free to contact me."
–State of Delaware Probation Officer, 0614
"I know my road was rocky at times but you guys still accepted me even for my short comings and worked with me. Our struggle is constant and real. It's getting better though, and I am happy to have met and known each and every one of you and to see that I wasn't the only one struggling or suffering. You are all and always will be an inspiration to me! Good luck to everyone in the future. May we all live long, prosperous and FREE! for the rest of our days."
–Mark, Class of 04/14
"I thank you so very much for your hard work for being an advocate for those of us who really need your help in getting us integrated back into the work force. The lessons I learned are very valuable, and time in the program is an investment for a greater future, and I am very grateful for New Start. I am forever grateful for your heroism in advocating for those of us whose need your tenacious spirit."
–Brady, Class of 04/14
"There are many clones of PNS out there. Even in the prisons themselves…But if you don't understand the community you’re trying to reach, and if you don't have heart, you don't have anything, and recidivism will remain steady. The New Start program has changed my life, and sent me on an emotional trajectory. I will never forget it...or you."
–Clifton, Class of 04/14
"Thank you so much for all you have done with these gentleman and giving them the necessary tools they will need along with confidence that they can achieve success if they just believe in their own abilities and strength. Please do let these gentleman know how we are so proud of them as job counselors!"
–Job Counselor, Plummer Work Release Center 12/13
"I used to love the streets and never considered working. I think the program was a great opportunity for us because as felons we have a very hard time finding jobs and finding people willing to give us a second chance. I learned a lot from this program from the computer skills, to how to conduct myself in an interview, and the lessons we did showed me a lot on what employers are looking for when they are hiring. I only hope the next class gets as much out of this program as I did."
–Stephan, Class of 10/13
"You do a great job leading us in the right direction. I would recommend anyone to the program because it is a benefit to the ones who want and need the experience."
–Gary, Class of 10/13
"Without people like you, people like me would not be able to help."
–Jim Teoli, Recruiting Manager, Kenny Family ShopRites of Delaware
"The Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) works closely with the Project New Start staff to provide this valuable training opportunity for offenders currently under the supervision of the DOC or who are recently returning to the community after incarceration. We look forward to continuing to partner with Project New Start to improve the level of services provided to our offenders, assist them in finding employment and improve the safety of our communities by reducing the likelihood of recidivism."
–Robert M. Coupe, Former Commissioner
"In my over 30 years as a State and Federal Probation Officer, I have not encountered an agency more exceptionally receptive to the needs of those under supervision of the Courts. All returning citizens are treated with the same dignity and respect. The students not only graduate, they go to work, support their families, pay their taxes, and behave like responsible citizens should, at a remarkable success rate."
–John Selvaggi, Retired Chief US Probation Officer
"The New Start program is not simply about placing ex-offenders in jobs, albeit a critically important piece to reentry. The New Start program takes a very comprehensive approach, informed by evidence-based practices. They employ cognitive behavioral therapy to address the top driver of recidivism, distorted thinking patterns. They have had remarkable success working with a population that has been traditionally challenging. The success of the New Start program stands in stark contrast to the recidivism outcomes reported by most other reentry programs and probation offices. New Start follows the evidence and does it with fidelity through experienced practitioners. "
–John McDonough, Retired, Chief US Probation Officer