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Meet Andre Apparicio, a formerly incarcerated turned inspiring public speaker. He empowers formerly incarcerated individuals by helping them secure employment and embark on a fresh start. Through his motivational speeches, Andre ignites hope and equips others with the tools needed to rebuild their lives and embrace a brand new future.
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Alternate Titles For The Algorithm:
From Bars to Inspiration: A Journey of Redemption
From Prison Walls to Public Stages: A Story of Hope and Resilience
The Voice of Transformation: Empowering Formerly Incarcerated Individuals
Behind Bars to Beyond Limits: Inspiring Lives After Incarceration
Hey y’all, this is your host Elyse Robinson. With nobody wants to work though podcasts I hope the stories were inspire you to switch careers. I was an auditor in my past life and I’m in tech, then let’s get to it
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Hey, Alice, Elyse Robinson with the nobody wants to work though podcast. And today I have Andre, go ahead and introduce yourself. Tell us where you started and where you ended up at now.
Hey, everybody, my name is Andre Risio. Where did I start? From the very bottom. I started actually twice, I started my community. And then I started, actually, when I was released back into my community, when I came home from prison, I knew there was two things that I realized in prison. One was that I wasn’t coming back there and two was that I didn’t like people telling me what to do. So I knew that I wanted to make sure that even if I had a job, it wasn’t one of those where he was going to be on my back telling me what to do, I wanted to have a lot of freedom with that. But of course, with those types of opportunities, a lot of build up comes before that, there’s a lot of things you got to do before you can just sit here and demand to not have nobody on your back, people got to know that you know what you’re doing. And also you got to make sure that you know, you have the same way that individuals have paper trails, there’s so many other things that you have these things following you saying this is what you do. This is what you spent fighting. So right now I am consultant, I do a lot of work for different organizations that deal with our youth that deal with the justice system that deals with just overall education, everyday type education. I just recently got proposals accepted to do a program that I put together, that’s to teach our youth about the laws regarding our miners working labor laws. And you know, so that’s some of the things that I do, I try to find a way to get in between what’s going on, there are a lot of other things that’s going on now I’m not new, they’re not going to be under the sun. So if you want to actually get into some of these fields that you’re looking into, you want to try to bring something to the table, especially as a consultant piece. A lot of individuals have already done numerous professional developments and all those other things. So you’re gonna have to come up with something different. And a lot of the times, what I find is that I just make it relatable. What’s gotten me here is just not straying too far from what got me in prison. And that was ideally just being around the community, except focusing the energy on other things. And it’s worked, it’s worked to perfection. So you know, that’s what I think transferable skills got me here, if I can kind of, like try to pinpoint it. And because a lot of the things that I was doing previously before my incarceration, I’m still doing that. Still taking charge. I’m still speaking, I’m still, you know, litigating and in addition, out work and old, all those things, except more on a brighter note. So, you know, if I had to say what got me here is definitely the transferable skills is definitely the fact that like I said, I didn’t want to go back to prison. It was definitely the fact that I want my own time I wanted to be the master of my own time.
Amen to that. Here’s a fun one. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A basketball player, a basketball player. I was. I was so serious. I would go to our wake up before school, go and practice before school, come home, shower, eat, go go to school, playing basketball, and certain things just died out. But yeah, that was my goal. I wanted to be a basketball player. For quite some time. I never really had any other aspirations to do any Anything else, I knew my father he did floors. So I knew he was like the floor man, everybody called and you know, big out of floor man, he did a lot of sanding floors, he did a lot of paints and stuff like that. So when I was younger, he took me on those job opportunities. And it was done. I knew I didn’t want to do that. So that was a good opportunity for me. Don’t get me wrong, I watched him the great money. But it just wasn’t something that I was interested in. In the atrium when he trained me, I was really good at it. And I think that just because I wanted to get it done and overweight. And I think that’s when I decided really, I like jobs, like how my father had, where it was a want you to come to this floor, he did the floor, and he went about his business, you know, I didn’t want to, I didn’t feel the need to work nine to five, like, let me go in there and knock this whole thing out on the day, take all this money home and worry about the next opportunity when it comes. And, you know, so once I started working nine to five, to be honest with you, it was like, whoa, I’m doing all this for this. And I watched my father work from seven in the morning to two and a half an hour and make 1400 hours just you know, here I didn’t work and for at that time, I think it was like $10 an hour. So you know, a lot of things, you know, just just came into play with that. But yeah, that’s what I wanted to be a basketball player. And if I had to, like really think about something secondary, I probably would have been a form and only because I knew how to do it.
All right, right. But I’m pretty sure your father did not start out making 14 handed out so you got to get to remember that
in that piece too. You know, and that was his helper you know, like he was the main flow and if you know about flows, he was the main floor man that had the Big Sandy machine and I watched him bring what they call edges and those are the individuals that usually did along the walls with the smaller edges and they actually you know, kind of did like the finish work as far as putting Polly on the floor and stuff like that but I watched him even make like 250 in a day and to me I was like well they may get some money you know because I’m like they didn’t they’re not even working as hard and that’s what I seen I seen them not working as hard. I seen them working together and I seen that you know you can make a lot of money doing something that you enjoy and that was my father He enjoyed his job he the same way he could easily just went home after two but guess what he was going to go do a no whole other job until the evening time you know he it wasn’t work to him he got up he did floors it just happened to be a opportunity where he made a lot of money
ya know, my mother was a clerk for the government My father was a janitor for the government so for me to you know, be an auditor and be in tech and things like that is crazy but my my mother always ingrained in me and my sister. You know, don’t go click clack and awning keys, which I do anyway, all frickin day long. Because my mom had real bad, you know, carpal tunnel and arthritis in her hands and stuff like that she was I don’t want you to click clacking on him keys. But, uh, yeah, like, you know, I guess I followed in my parents footsteps, government stuff. I just didn’t do the same stuff they did. It was like, make sure you don’t use your body, you know, to do work and stuff like that, because you’ll be done and out by time. You’re 40 years old. And I mean, most people aren’t retiring at 40. You know what I’m saying? So, so yeah, no, I
was thinking about it. My father’s body is in shambles from doing that hard about it. He has all types of nerve issues, because what he didn’t know was running that machine on a bare floor, the vibration from the machines went up his hands. And so he had like, carpets turned on and off, right? Is that run down his arms and stuff like that? No, a lot of these things you don’t really look at because you’re looking at the money aspect and all these other things. And that’s why, you know, I do the work that I do, because I feel like it helps puts me in a position to one, like I said, be the master of my time to be able to be at home and in peace. You know, strategize. And three. Not actually doing physical labor has never actually been mopping. Yes, I can do it. Yes, I’ll do it. But it’s like it’s never been one of those things where I’m like, I’m okay we deal with this. I’m not. I know that there are so many different things. And I tell you one of the main reasons that stem from that when I came home I was in the outpatient treatment program. And after I was done and complete on like the anger management and substance piece this was to help me with employment. So I was already working but they was like, go there so you can get a scholarship because we want Shouldn’t be a counselor since you’ve been in his program. Like when you speak in groups, people listen, you know what I mean? You seem to know what to say, you seem to motivate others. So you know, we think you should be a counselor. And as many people have told me before that I was kind of like, Yeah, I’m gonna go. And when I went to this space to go for the scholarship, my counsel at that time was supposed to be my access VR counselor, who was supposed to pay for like the scholarship, they just kind of like evaluate you. And you go from there. And he said, I think you’d be better off working with your hands. And I was like, what, and I mean, I don’t know how far this partner gets go. But he was white, I was young and black, coming home from jail. And it didn’t sit right with me at all. And I told him, you know, some words, and I left. And when I went back to the program, surprisingly well, to me, they had my back, they found like a grievance on my behalf that he like, you know, he had to go through a whole process of being investigated, which, of course, he lied again, you know, but there was just like, we just don’t see how we’ve never discussed construction with him. He goes all the way to you, for the first time seeing you. And he says that he wants to do construction, know, like, it just doesn’t seem logical. But he stuck with it. And that kind of really kind of pushed me into doing when I went to school for the drug counseling. And I went from it, that was really like my back door to doing everything that I was doing. All of these things are aligned for me, from the individuals that I’ve met, so the people, places and things were all of these things connected to, you know, to where I am today to where I, you know, I’m only a few signatures away from my actual drug license, I just have to fill out the applications and be downloaded and sent in about half of everything I pass the state exam, I have the 6000 hours and all of this other stuff, you know, so it’s like, great, and then me knowing the facts that I know about drugs and how they correlate to crime. Yeah, how are you are, you know, the, between the ages of 14 to 16. In America, there’s two things that happen without you. One, they usually try first drink a drug of choice, and two, they usually commit their first crime. And all of those a lot of the times tied to alcohol, because one of the first things that individuals usually try, even though they say that marijuana was a gateway, drug, alcohol was more accessible, and more able to cover so individuals usually go for alcohol, instead of having their smokes. But unfortunately, 40% of violent crimes committed were under the influence of alcohol. So you know, all of these things tie in together, which is why I wanted to create my own programming where it can be relatable without you, but I can actually speak about what’s going on with this drug use, and how these things tie together, and just make the correlation. When you have more liquor stores and community program places, there’s probably going to be more crap. So you know, and that’s what I get to do. And that’s why I love the freedom of what I do. You know, I stand on everything that I stand on, I don’t have to really look to any organization to kind of like Kashmir or anything like that I operate solo, if I’m not feeling something, I’m gonna say it, I’m gonna speak my mind. And I’m gonna get into spaces where I’m going to be heard and make some changes. So you know, things like that motivate me. And seeing others thrive, motivate me as well, you know, so. And that’s why I kind of like do a lot of work with just helping individuals that are entrepreneurs that do want to get into different spaces. I’m not charging you 297 For a Google document that was stolen off of Google, you know, like, I’m not going to charge you the 297 and slash it from the 497. I’m not going to do that. No, you come on over here and get this information and make sure that you pay it forward. Like, that’s the ideal thing for me.
I was hilarious, because I charge I charge $99 For a whole year for a home.
Exactly, you know, unless you give me some actual resources. So
I got real testimonials and
Maybe, I mean, my prized collection of machines must have is cheap, cheap, cheap. But not going back to the 40 to 60. You know, I’m thinking back when I was that age, and yeah, I tried my first drink when I was 16. And I got you know, I didn’t know my limits, though. You know, I mean, they’re just totally I’m told what you know, they don’t tell them I didn’t like to fill in those. I didn’t drink again until I was like my late 20s. Like, honestly I didn’t like it. But now Should I just do a wine bottle away today? I got I got aches, I got her, I call them hurts. That’s what I call them, I call them hurts.
You’re able to control a bed. And that’s all I want individuals to understand. We can’t possibly be putting all this stuff here we have all these statistics, we know that, you know, on top of all of these other things, and then we mentioned the fact that an individual’s brain doesn’t fully develop to 2324 years old. And still, we can we try to hold our youth at full, you know, responsibility, like it just doesn’t make any sense because we’re not doing anything to help prevent it, you know, so, you know, just really coming to that understanding. And putting that information out there. You know, just little things like that. Like I said, That’s what I enjoy. I enjoy being for the people speaking for the people and watching everybody throughout.
So definitely because I’m thinking back to when I was like maybe 910, tennis around that age, a little bit older. We do like every year, in my hometown, I’m originally from Sacramento, California, sac town. And yeah, during during the summer, they used to have these programs in my grandma’s neighborhood. And you know, my mom was signing us up for it and stuff, me and my sister and we would get free food and they would do activities with us. And they had games out there at the park like literally up the street. And I don’t know if they do that anymore. Like honestly, um, and then somebody was telling me about ROP the other day, we were having a conversation about ROP, I was like, You know what, I remember ROP and they were telling me they have a software engineering and stuff now and I’m like, yeah, like they have medical assistant, and I forget what else they had when I was a kid, but I was like, Oh, they have, you know, tech stuff now, which is crazy. So, um, I mean, I don’t know, if they still have all that stuff anymore. I mean, what is it called? Not a miracle, your job corps Job Corps, I just, I don’t know, the kids.
A lot of these programs aren’t there. And if they are, they’re not making the same impact. And then also, like, minimize the amount of kids that can participate. Right, that’s another issue. Because now it becomes a graph. You know, everybody knows, you know, historically, those that have less, usually get less. So you know, and that’s where, you know, we stand with that. But, you know, they don’t, they don’t have a lot of those programs that we have, they don’t like I will tell them. In my neighborhood, the high school at the Altos was an open gym, going there play ball, we wouldn’t have to be outside, they asked security. So even though they could watch a whole lot of stuff, and from six to I think 930 You know, by that time, you ain’t gonna want to hang out on the streets, if you just play ball for three and a half asleep. To go get Chinese food, people took a shower and went to sleep. But they don’t have those things that’s out there. And I actually sat in on a meeting one day, and the dude was like, you know that someone was screaming about rec centers. And I’m like, This is not 1969 we do not need to open up a rec center. You know, when we have all of these buildings that are right here. You know, we have legit schools that are wrecks,
abandoned buildings that that
know and to do this, like, oh, this, and we can’t afford to pay the security guys extra to stay. So we’ll listen. If you see that you’re gonna pay for these kids, and they’re deaf, or you’re going to pay for them while they’re here. But either way you got to pay, it just depends on what you guys want to pay. And, you know, some lady was lying. And the whole room got quiet. And I’m like, I would love to sit here and kick it with y’all and pretend like it’s not that serious. But it is. And we’ve seen this, you know, and Things only get worse, as things are getting tough, especially during the COVID and all those other things. To me, the economical impact on my community was crazy. You know, like, Absolutely, uh, you know, wherever there’s poverty, there’s crime. Yeah, it just goes hand in hand. So you know, when they’re talking about all these things that are up in crime is up, and they’re blaming it on, you know, bail reform and stuff like that, like not let’s stick to the facts here. Crime is up, because people out here started in trying to make a way in trying to figure out a way and and they can’t so you know, and that’s why a lot of different opportunities that I have with organizations, I try to, you know, they, they know what they’re calling me before, but I also try to leave a little extra and try to leave a little spark, I like to say, you know, maybe you can do this to improve what you’re doing, you know, and try to get them to reach out to you more and go a lot further. Because a lot of these organizations are established that I work with. Their problem is they’re just not really good with strategizing with certain things. And I think that just boils down to individual was not understanding that sometime, you didn’t need an individual live experience to be a part of your program. No, they’re not gonna come with like master’s degrees and doctorates and all of these other things. But that doesn’t mean that the information is not valid as well. You know, and so I try to make sure that I help people understand that a bridge ain’t nothing but a ladder that’s laid down, we have to all you know, get across this, you know what I mean? And we got to take this step by step, you know, and, and do this the right way.
Definitely, there was a post on Twitter today that I read funny enough, and they were saying how they were trying to get into a program for a not a program, they were trying to, like teach at a program for incarcerated individuals, and you know, they had been incarcerated, and they didn’t get their application looked at, and, you know, like, they have the experience and all that other kind of stuff, who would be better than to talk about incarcerated stuff than somebody that’s been incarcerated, right. And, you know, of course, they got filtered out because of their record. And he said that an apprenticeship didn’t ask the question about his record or anything like that. So he went into, you know, construction, construction, and you know, it just hurt is hurt his soul and stuff, because he really wanted that job and stuff, and he was the perfect fit. But, you know, due to the record, it cause problems. So I guess my question is, you know, how have you been able to navigate this stuff, you know, not having the degrees not having certifications? And, you know, having the record Have you had to, you know, stumble some heads? I mean, what was your process?
I mean, for me, having my felonies and my GED and a few certifications. What really helped me out was my network. That’s not what you knows who, you know, a lot of those cases, I was able to navigate certain situations because of who I knew, wanted a main parole, she was the supervisor of gang parole, when I first came on, she was the first person that I met, talking kind of crazy, but because of who I was on paper, I could understand her approach. You know what I mean, I was just coming home, individuals that were a part of the same game as me that I came home have went right back for even worse crimes. So they’re pretty much like, look, and you ain’t about to continue this stuff that’s going on, you know, um, but she ended up being one of the biggest helpers and support us down to sending my children baby shower gifts, you know, like, we’ve gotten that close. She’s written plenty of character reference letters, for me, allowed me to run gang groups inside the parole building that opened up a library slash bookstore in the pearl building, where I gave out books for free and we gave out over 300 books, well program that they told us that probably wouldn’t even work because none of the individuals would want to take a book yet I got over 300 signatures on paper, books being taken out, you know, so for me is definitely about who I knew, then it also was about the time and I would say, a lot of people complain from the outside. Sometimes you gotta go over those meetings, there are a lot of community meeting that you can put yourself in there. Once enough people see you there, there’ll be like, I remember him from this. Let’s bring him over here. Let’s do that. I tell people all the time. I’ve had the biggest opportunities come from when I volunteer at certain spaces. When you go to volunteer events, and you meet other volunteers, they’re usually people of your stature, to be honest with you, very rare, you know, individuals, you know, just stumbling off or somewhere, they usually individuals that can help you in some way, especially depending on the cause, you know, people usually come together for certain things. I know that I did an event with I did a podcast with the individual and come to find out he was the foot. He was an area of bid like he was the Business Director for all of the businesses in that area. And he literally had like the keys to the vacant businesses in that area and stuff like that. I had no idea what I was I just heard he had told me that he wanted to do a volunteer event and they give out turkeys and he needed volunteers. And I called my tribe and we pulled up and we did that and come after we sit down when we realize this man is literally like the key to the city. Now if I ever need to do an event, I can literally call him I don’t have to pay for space. He just give me the keys to space. He connected me with so many different other individuals, so many different schools. He connected me reconnect me with an individual. That was one of the Union reps for the Board of Education, the teachers for the Union. And you know, that individual connected me with some The different schools that I spoke at and stuff like that. So, you know, I will definitely tell you that can network, I’ll definitely tell you that volunteering helped me get to those spaces, and also our member council that’s telling me you’re doing good. But make sure that your passion and your skill set and line, perfecting your craft. If you look at my resume, you’ll see at least something a year bar and last year, where I took a course in my field certification course, whether it be eight hours, 16 hours a week, always trying to refresh and see what’s going on and make sure that I’m not just out here with my feelings, because feelings are facts, I need to go out there with the facts. So, you know, I want to make sure that I’m doing that and getting the facts and figuring out what’s going on. And, and just really doing my own research, and not even knowing that that’s the whole job in itself, you know, Hey, I am doing research should I can just talk to people, and people will certainly like, you know, the type of research that you do people get paid for that. Like you literally research everything from household Louisiana, from that, from the income to the education to the health to the maternity health, and put it in a document, do you know somebody would buy that from you? You know, so it was like, wow, like when you think you’re just doing something, you know, just for the cause. So many other things open up. So I encourage individuals to definitely volunteer. A lot of connections I made was at Korea days, to be honest with you. People will hear my story at a Korean occasion are usually going home with three other individuals in talking. And afterwards, they pulled me to the side like, yeah, I need you, you should speak here and you should speak there, you should do that. So you know that in podcasts like this, you never know who’s saying that I tell you this, the first time I ever spoke in public was at a church. And there was seven people there and five people were my family members. And it was one person and then it was a lady that worked at probation. And that lady at probation because event that the church put on and that lady that worked for that probation opened up the biggest doors. I spoke about probation twice and I was able to speak at because probation was like we heard you speak I mean, parole was like we heard you speak in our probation by you and tell us you speak. And it just opened up the doors. And it went from speaking at probation to those kids to me having three offices in the parole builder whilst they’re on parole.
Now, for real, though, you got me laughing because my first event that I did in 2021, if you I don’t know I do. I do monthly seminars. Usually I’m not having one this month, because I’m doing a big one next month, I’m hoping and praying, um, which is from zero to 100,000. Actually, this won’t be aired this time, but I’ll talk about it anyways, from zero to 100,000 in a government job. That’s, that’s one of my seminars that I’m doing. And my very first seminar that I did, I didn’t even do it, I got scared. I was like, I got the bubble guts. And I delayed it. It was May 2021. I was supposed to do it. And I delayed it to June 2021. I was like, Yeah, I’m gonna do it this time, right? Because I came across this black man. And he was like, even if you have one person show up, go ahead and do it anyway. So my first seminar, I didn’t really mark it that well, I’ll be honest, and two people showed up. And you know, I did a lie, resume review, I think, I think it was because I do live resume reviews and live lengthy reviews, I’ll always keep those for free. And one of the people ended up laughing at me at the end, because I was like, Yeah, I have two people, I didn’t really market it well, and somebody laughed at me. But then I grew to you know, 55 people in you know, whatever it so you know, it is what it is, but you’re right, consistency is key, you know, going out and volunteering. And you know, just I mean just being there. A lot of times you ain’t got to talk because somebody will come up to you and be like, Hey, who are you? Why are you here?
I do you want to hang around your future. You know, they told me if you hang around the barbershop long enough, you’re gonna get a haircut. So I always wanted to make sure that the things that I was doing, I was hanging around people that’s already doing it. It’ll make no sense me chillin with my pops, and he doing floors. And I’m trying to do this, to be honest with you. And that’s what I did when I said I wanted to do my nonprofit. My whole phonebook was full of people with nonprofits when I said I wanted to get into this stuff, a whole form. And then I looked down I got such a diverse phonebook of just different connections. Because you don’t just want one person in the field you want to make sure that you connect with a bunch of different people get a bunch of different views. You know, a lot of the sounds of the work that I do like proposals and stuff like that for speaking engagements, you know, just make Ensure that I know how to approach knowing who you’re approaching. Knowing that I tell you one thing I go as far as sometimes when I’m doing speaking engagements, I asked for the guest list. And I tell them that I want to give a gift, which I do, I usually give like some wristbands. But my purpose is to get the guest list. So I can look at those names and figure out what they do see who I want to connect with, and cater my speech to that. And it’s worked like a charm, you know, so, you know, it’s about being intentional and strategic, and, you know, having a plan because, you know, a goal without a plan is just a wish. And you’ll see it a lot of time, a lot of people are just like, yeah, I want to do this. And then it’s like, well, what’s the plan? It’s like, Well, I’m just gonna let it flow. Right? Right. This is not a let it flow world. Oh, no, who’s selling these dreams, probably the same people selling it for 297. But this is not, it’s not a let it flow world, we need to make sure that we understand that we got to be strategic. Everybody that has been strategic and operating from a strategic standpoint, are successful. So why would you think you could just let it flow? You know, it’s about finding that balance. You know, you don’t have to be like the next person. But there are some foundations to success. You know what I mean? And please don’t be afraid to spend money to make money. Marketing is super duper key. And if you’re having issues with that, I always tell people, as a networker, you know, I just network with some individuals that are good with marketing, you know, and they generally helped me with that. And then they’re like, Well, do you how you go with this, and we bought a services. There’s nothing wrong with that. Modern services. You know, at least we didn’t, you didn’t help me out with my organization stuff.
Like $1,000, he was like, Look, send me this. And we can do make this happened, you know, like, and people don’t even know that. Like, that’s how deep it is. And that’s why it’s important to have like minded individuals, because me and her we bubble information and thoughts and ideas all the time. You know what I mean? She’ll tell me should do it? You know, because I’m forever grateful for her doing that for me.
Oh, I forgot. Yeah, I didn’t say in the beginning that we knew each other, but we should we got wet five years back.
Like, you know, just making sure that you have individuals that their goals are set like that, because I’m on their old everybody else’s, but I didn’t get no younger no matter what my age is no. So I’m trying to, I’m not trying to get old and have to work twice as hard as when I was when I was younger, that’s not gonna happen. That’s not what I’m looking to do. I’m looking to invest in myself, invest in a team, and invest in a goal. So when I invest in myself, I’m not worried about as people always talking about when I get to the team for when I invest in myself, I’m so invested in myself that I know the team that I’m building, this isn’t some team that I’m just pulling out of thin air. This is a team that’s coming from when I was invested in myself, and making sure that I’m keeping the right individuals around me. Because that’s a part of investing in yourself, making sure that you’re not just having anybody just pour into you. You know, like I tell everybody will tell how body is like nothing but a whole bunch of pores. You know, like, there’s so many ways to get into the human body. Just think about that. From a mindset standpoint. There’s so many different holes that misinformation can get into your mind. There’s so many different ways there’s so much ways of infant misinformation, you know, whether it be Twitter or Facebook, or I see some people post stuff, put statistic numbers on it, and people believe it. Like this, this is a strange time. I’m not gonna lie. You know, people just be like, hey, you know, 98% of people in Houston, listen to the lease, you know, like, Damn, that’s crazy. Like, but it really be like so you gotta be mob. I tell people all the time. Selling. Common sense is at an all time high. Be Be careful. People are selling common sense. Elliott, if you just took two seconds, you could have saved yourself that 297 I’m gonna stay and let you know.
I sent my sister So today it was uh, it was I think he was like 19 or something and he was kissing up on his old woman right? Everybody’s you know, research so shout out to my sister like, look at this right? So my dad they always on Tik Tok playing around with his grandma on life. See what you thought right?
He said old time high and it’s no buddies fool. That’s just how it is. You know? Like, I’ll tell him I’ll pop I’m like, Damn, you must have been a pirate bro. He was really driving from Queens to Brooklyn with no, Matt, that’s crazy to me.
I mean, were you that much younger than me. But I mean, you know, back in the day, we used to print out the instructions.
When I was younger, he would never do that. He would just know the streets. And I’m like, yo, this is good. And when I was up there last time, I’m driving, I put the GPS and they go to my house. And he’s like, boy, you know, your houses. I’m like, Yes, I know what my house is, oh, man, I said, but this helps me in case there is traffic in a way that I go, I can go the other way that he sat back and was like, that’s just Oh, you’re using the GPS, I’m like you should. It’s coming back around, it’s coming back around. But you know, all in all, though, you want to make sure that, you know, you’re putting in the destination with anything that you’re doing, I find a lot of people that are just like, you know, hopping on that maps, and just trying to get to Hawaii, so to speak. But if your input, no exact, you know, location is going to be really difficult for them to calculate that. And so you know, when you have the exact destination that you’re looking for, you’re able to calculate it better. And I believe that the journey is able to be better, because let me tell you, obstacles aren’t optional. So you better you know, tie that into the journey, that there will be some obstacles, it will get rocky, you know, and how you respond to that. respond versus react, you know, because first, a lot of times we react first, and that is exactly the best thing that we do when we react, but how you respond to what’s going on, is gonna be key to how you, you know, Excel and how you grow. I always tell people, if you are sitting here, and you’re the CEO of your business, but you have so many things on your mind, and you’re so distracted, how could you really run a successful business? You know, so taking KSL, I’m I went to a meeting when I did the proposal for the library. And what I found interesting was that the staff mean, it was in, they were welcomed in new individuals, I was coming on staff, and she said here, you take care of yourself, first, you take care of your family, and then you take care of your job. Those two things come before this job. Because if we know that if there’s something going on with either or you probably won’t be great at your job here, we try to make sure that we all doing great at our job. And I found that very interesting. I’ve never heard a company say some shit like that. I was like, Whoa, like, What do you mean yourself and then your family. But as I’m sitting there, I’m like, wow, you know, and you know, me, I went back like, well, how does it go, and they literally have like, damn near unlimited days off and how to you know what I mean? It’s, it’s really interesting, because of the work that they do in their department, they’re able to gain a lot of hours able to take off, you know, and she just said, you know, just to make sure when you have projects coming up, that you don’t just leave the team hanging, and everything is everything, you know, and just speaking to some of the individuals that have been there for years, they like it was a smooth job, you don’t feel like a job, when you don’t feel the forest, they don’t have a nine to five, they don’t have to wake up every day, every time they work in that nine to five, set your schedule for the work you got to do. You know, and I think that that stuff like that is important. You know what I mean? It just starts to give the individual that space in their freedom. So you know, if you don’t have that you want to try to create some time for that for yourself. is very, very important. Man. I always tell people, you will not be successful when a clouded mind, no matter what they say, you know, yeah, people do come from the struggling stuff. But there’s a part of that struggle where you have an understanding that things are gonna get better. Not many people are successful when they’re like, Man, I’m never gonna get out of this. No, when you start talking different when you start thinking different, you start moving different. And that’s kind of how you know a lot of these things transpire. So, like I said, be ready for whatever that comes at you. Build your network. Focus on self. Focus on your goals. write those things down, do vision boards, speak to individuals, get an accountability partner, read a damn book, read a book, watch YouTube, I don’t care, listen to a book, something. You know, you have all of this time and so much time that people spend on the internet and all these other things looking at 19 year olds and everyday Grandma, you know, like we got to figure out, you know that there’s some actual
I did. I passed my class today with an A, so I’m gonna look at whatever I want to look at today.
She already did the work. That’s what I want you to do once you
already did. In my work, I woke up at like six o’clock this morning was like, let me finish my class so I could be free the rest of the day. And we talk about self care. I gave him a massage every week, because that’s myself. Eat me some beans and rice. But I will have my massage. Hey, every day, that massage and Spanish.
Hi, I’m just trying to get to where you are. I need that right? I need me a massage. I had
to take my vision board down because it was right here in the corner, I’d take it down because I didn’t want to buy feet boards over here. And I’m trying to pick how many things that I crossed off last year because I crossed off. One. I think I might have crossed out like two or three things last year, so and what was Major? What was real major? So? So yeah, so yeah, um, so I’m proud of myself. So I got a whole bunch of other stuff on here. And we’re just like, at this point on my, do I really want to do it, but it’s all in there. But I guess this would be a last question, because you kind of went through most of the questions already. I guess, you know, Were you always this way where you you, you thought that you were going to be a you know, a public speaker or writer and all this other kind of stuff. Like Were you always out here, you know, counseling people, let me say that,
I will say this, I always was the one that was the leader. Even when I like gangbang and ran the street, I was one of the top dog. So I was always able to delegate certain things. And this is what it was. And then at the height of the gang era, when everybody was just beacon literally over colors, I was seen as the liberal one. And like, you know, he would hang out with, you know, opposite gang members and stuff like that, because I really didn’t care anything about that I was about my money. I didn’t care what color flag you had, because money was green. And we did and folk did wigger. And so it didn’t matter to me. And I kind of took those things in it evolved. And like I said, how everything was connected. I actually at one point in prison and ended up in a drug house what I was actually doing programming. And the interesting part about that was I was placed there because I came in off the box. And they were saying you know, you can just chill here. It’s a drill program house, it’s not a lot of gang banging stuff. Just relax it until we figure out what’s what’s what. And what I found interesting is in that dorm, there was about 47 beds, probably about 40 people in a dorm, and probably over 30 of them, we get up every morning, around nine o’clock, doing nine o’clock morning meetings from like nine to 11, they’ll take a break to have lunch after that, they’ll come back for another meeting from like one to three. And it was one helping with their cases, but tools also helping bring it up the day of being in prison doing nothing. So I’m being one of those journalists. And if you know the difference between jail and prison and in prison, you can move around a lot more, you can do a lot more stuff, because you have your time and whatever, in jail, it’s just holding you. So a lot of the time just spending it just in the door, you know, like, so it was something to get up and do and as I started to get up and participate, because I’m like, I might as well break up the day before I knew it before I even left that door. And I was actually running the morning meetings. So I would have to wake up early and get the newspaper and figure out a topic for the day, I would try to figure out a song that everybody would know, I would try to figure out something that happened has to do with substance use. So usually it was like a drunk drive or something like that, and an article and I’ll read it and get their opinions. And then lo and behold, I go say I do my time I come home, I go to this outpatient drug program, I meet a counselor that did 25 years and was working on her third master’s degree. And she’s telling me that, you know, you will be a great counselor because of how you speak and my boys on the street, like you always been like our counselor, and stuff like that. And then the stuff that I do now is exactly what I was doing in prison those years ago. You know, except I have more resources and they have more flexibility. But I still run groups, I still, you know, help put things together, I still got to look and see what’s going on with different topics and how I can incorporate it and what’s going on with the groups and stuff like that. And, you know, I didn’t plan on doing any of this until I started really looking at you know, what would give me the best opportunity for one to have the freedom that I want to make the money that I want and three, my main thing was traveling. I never got to travel much. I met a bunch of individuals that was incarcerated for one individual for almost 43 years when I met him and he probably still isn’t home, you know, if he’s still alive, and he literally was like Man, when you go out there just travel for me, you know Write me no nothing. I just know that, you know, in here, you’ve been a man about your words. So I know when you go home, you’re gonna hate the industry you go, you know, when you get yourself together, you’re gonna start traveling. And, you know, and that’s what I did, I started to travel. And just like I told you about the volunteer piece, I said, You know what, I’m gonna do a dual purpose. So my best friend worked for American Airlines, I was able to fly domestically for free. So I would choose the city I was going to fly to the day before, I will call them and let them know that I am a person that was formerly incarcerated. And I like to speak and I’ll volunteer to speak for free at the space. If they had the availability, on while I was there. And sometimes it works. Sometimes it didn’t, they would say, you know, they need a little bit more clearance, depending on the facility. But um, you know, it got me into different speaking engagements in different cities. And I was able to be like, Hey, I just came out here to speak to you out, you know, in the chair. And it was true, you know, I wanted to make sure, and doing all that volunteering connected me to Matt, a lot of different things like Oh, tell people, they don’t see opportunities, because there’s not a check connected to the end of it. But I was hoping yet, you know, you take care of the people that people are going to take care of you. I went from, and I’m actually looking to put something together, I was just talking to my boy about it. I call it from bookings to bookings would help them people get booked for different speaking engagements. When I was in bookings, that took me to Rikers owl. And I was like, Damn, you know, how did I get to this destination, and then I figured it out, you know, running the streets, doing criminal activity, all those other things. And then now to go in and putting a proposal together the night before and sitting in a meeting for 10 minutes. And they like agreeing to no multiple libraries would have $4,000 contract, I think, and we took in 10 hours of work. You know, so it’s like, if you want to look at it from the money aspect, hey, that’s dope, too. But I’m still looking at from what I look at it from the impact aspect, and I lead with money to make that impact. And then the money is just attached with it. You know, so I’m gonna don’t be scared to step out there. I had a conversation with my friend, he’s talking about some of the things you know, he wants to do, but he hasn’t done because he’s scared of failing. And I asked him, Have you ever failed before? And he said, Yeah. And I’m like, well, he ain’t, you’re still hear, you know, so like, you know, just putting these pieces together and just enjoying, you know, being able to speak those things into people and help them you know, because I always felt like, they always gave us half the battle when I was younger, they would say, you know, show me what you want to be, I want to be a basketball player, and they walked away. And that’s only half the battle, you could be anything you want to be when work for the Ask the product, and they left out a lot of people, they were just, you could be anything you want to be or what do you want to be? Yeah, unless you work for you just can’t be anything you want to be, you know what I mean? You got to be real, what’s going on here. And sometimes you might have to talk a person out of what they think they want to be, you know, and so, you know, that just falls into a whole bunch of other different things. But, you know, all in all, I would encourage you to learn more, I encourage you to connect more, I encourage individuals to, if you can’t speak more fun, somebody that you’re comfortable speaking for you. People sit here and pretend like it’s like, you know, something that’s unheard of, but what do you think an outreach worker is? So my speaking for the company, you know, and just looking at it from that perspective, you may need to hire some help, you know, and it might cost you now but in the long run, if somebody is doing something that can be really really beneficial for you that you’re not comfortable doing and they’re great at it. It sounds like how it’s gonna it’s gonna work out to me a lot of these major companies pretty much all these major companies always collaborate with so many other different things and even individual contractors to keep these wheels turning. Don’t think you’re so special. You want to keep these wheels turning make sure that you connect and connect and connect some
definitely don’t want to fail you go
I’m scared to
fail I mean so what if you do this like okay Don’t Don’t get me started. Oh my well I guess my first major failure as this is so much time and money into it and funny enough I was thinking about restarting it especially since the world reopened back up but be a foreigner with my with my thing. I worked with a whole year on that and then I had to scrap it because COVID here because was nobody moving. And you know, just starting to make a little bit of change. And next thing you know, bloop there goes down the drain. I’m like, Ooh, maybe I should bring it back especially now that we have all these tools and stuff now and I can maybe turn it into like a Hey newsletter, but um, I guess I got one more question for you. How do you come up with your topics? Because see, I’ve been wanting to say stuff. I got all these stories, and it’s just like, okay, like, I don’t know what to say. I mean, I didn’t know what to say. But I’m like, if people don’t want to hear it.
I really don’t know people ask me that all the time. I really don’t. I think it’s because in my past life, I was a battle rapper. So I just be trying to like spit some bars and stuff. But I just really don’t honestly. I’ve always been one of those individuals to just say, like, a lot of slick stuff. I think it’s just part of my personality. Like the proposal that I did for the library about the labor laws, I call they can they do that? And they love the title just over it was like this. Can they do that? Yeah. Can they do that? Literally. And I put to the side in quotations, a deep conversation about child labor laws. And they were like, Whoa, you know, shows can they do that is just half the battle, you know what I mean? So once I brought it together, there was like, and then they just read, like the first part of it and was like, let’s get these dates going, let’s do this. Let’s do that. I don’t know, I don’t, I don’t really, I try to make sure that one that the topic is catchy. relatable. I try to make sure that it’s not one of those individuals, where one of those topics where it’s like, hey, like, you know, you got to know what you’re saying, if you want to talk about the gun crime and, and what’s going on here, I wouldn’t throw an event talking about you know, event talking about gun control. Once people hear gun control, they automatically turn it off. You know what I mean? But if you can bring it in mention something with guns and talk about lives and stuff like that, you may be able to gather more individuals, but I always tell people, I don’t reinvent the wheel. I think that in this microwave era, people will really wants you to get to the point anyway. So I encourage something fast and snappy, something that grabs their attention. You know, it don’t have to even be mashing words. It can be just be one word. You know, I mean, it could be whatever it is, it could be rhyming words, whatever it is, I want to encourage you to you know, try to stick into it. Like I have another one called deceptions of reflection. You know, and people were lying. You know, like, Who do you really see? What do you see when you look at? You know, why do you see that? You know, what’s making you see that? You know, what’s going on? Oh, yeah, we gotta get one, I have my drug program. And guess what was cool. It’s lit. Oh, do we live though? Exactly, though. So it’s, like I said, I don’t reinvent the wheel, I take what’s already out there, and just try to put it together.
If literally, if you’re smoking a cigarette, or you know, some other type of drug, it’s, it’s barely lit.
Exactly. So you don’t stray too far about what you want to talk about, you want to make it as relatable as possible, you know, catchy and possible, if not, you know, it’s not anything. Or if you’re not really go with that, then just making sure Visually, it looks like something that people want to read about, you know, something that captures the essence of what you may want to talk about, you know, or, you know, finding some others, using somebody else’s topic and putting it in there, you know, bringing up what they’ve already researched and stuff like that, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You know, if they already have somebody out here that’s making some really nice topics and stuff like that, and stuff like that talk about the same thing they’re talking about, and include the minute given their credit. You know, so it’s just about getting the individuals to you. Because with me having a GED in the family, I’m not exactly the first person that people want to talk to. They’re, especially in these times, and they they’re always looking for those individuals with the degrees and the licenses and all this other stuff. And then when I come in, I have to make sure that, you know, I make my wife, you know, and it’s like, oh, like, there’s a lot of Second Chance programs out here. My program that I run is called the first chance program. And what do you mean, let me tell you about it, you know, like, it’s, what do you mean the first chance Oh, let me tell you about it. Everybody didn’t even had no, but how do we even know they even had a first chance? You know, so just just going into that. So just being confident and being able to backup what you’re talking about, like I said, not just with feelings with facts, weeks facts You know, so no getting those things together. But yeah, I don’t really have no really like I told you I was a battle rap in my past I have, you know, sometimes I just picked on the borrower. He’s just, he’s just me, but you know, luckily for you to even do that you got me so you straight you know the
so do you like do you plan it out or you just be like okay sorry, here’s a topic this one I want to talk about and the like, just, you know, so
funny cuz naturals, I do both sometimes I write the stuff, and then I’ll get the topic out of something I said that I was writing. Or sometimes I’ll do like how to deal with my boy. Because he was saying that, you know, a lot of people, I hope a lot of people were like getting speaking engagements, like getting them started and what they may need to do, especially when it comes down to like, formerly incarcerated, I got like my own like little stack and even see them there were individuals that I recommend to go speak, you know, and stuff like that, or places that I’ve already spoken, you know, especially those that have like the every week, we think they’re going to be wanting individuals to come. I am coming every week, you know what I mean? And other people have other stories to share that I’m sure the kids could benefit from as well. So I’ve never wanted to be like, Oh, no, here, this and guess what we’ll be doing that sometimes I still get a check in the mail just for you know what I mean? Because they’re like, Hey, you sent to so many different great individuals, you know, so, you know, I kind of just make sure that I’m connecting with those different individuals that are doing the work and seeing what they got going on. Yeah, yeah, that’s it. So I like I said, I mainly just do a lot of this stuff, it just sometimes reversed. Sometimes it’s not, it’s just whenever it comes to me, the way this thing go, it does usually come to me like two three in the morning, if for some reason. I don’t know, I’ll just be up and I’ll just be thinking about different things. And I’m like, yeah, we’ll put it together. And like I said, I just want to make it catchy. Like that’s what I wanted to do from bookings to bookings, you know, because that’s essentially what it went down to. I went from being booked in a precinct to going to the courts and stuff like that. So now being booked to speak all across this country.
Definitely, definitely, definitely inspiring. And she never got I was gonna say again, late, y’all. Like I said, I’ve been up since six. So there’s that. I’m gonna say, oh, my gosh, oh, that’s not gonna say, Yeah, I go, I don’t never practice what I’m going to say. Which I guess makes it you know, more authentic and whatever else. So that’s, that’s kind of why I asked, you know, I’ve never Well, no, I’ve done a couple of speaking engagements. I’ve been on some podcasts and, and a conference before they were all like tech related and stuff. And I didn’t practice, practice while I’m talking about myself, you know what I’m saying? But, but yeah, like you said, you know, do your research know your topic, and you know, you should be able to talk about it. And, you know, I only like to talk about things that I know about because I mean, like I said it makes it so much easier. But um, but yeah, I mean, um, you know, tell us where to find you, Andre.
You can find me on my website, Andre aparicio.com. Come and check me out has all my information there. You can check out my book. My emancipation from incarceration is on the website. Before we learned we entered, and just let me know, reach out to me. And you can also check me on local Andre aparece. Co. and I’m so the show title. I didn’t because I’m not learning how to steal my last name. And it’s okay. How do we know she knows how to spell it but we don’t forget. Oh, look,
I was like, I ain’t gonna say your last name when I drive. I will say nobody’s last name anyway. Because usually it’s hard to say. There is that everybody can be Robinson. So there’s that. Oh. But thanks for coming on the show. Andre. Thanks for watching y’all listening whatever y’all doing? Subscribe. We on Google podcast on Apple podcasts on YouTube, of course. And we on Spotify and whatever your favorite listening app is. And my name is Elyse Robinson. With nobody wants to work though podcasts and beyond next time. You