Skip to main content
Global Edition
Sunday, January 17, 2021

Blue Jacket's Fantasy of Lights puts their money where their mouth is

Credit: WFFT
Duration: 0 shares 3 views
Blue Jacket's Fantasy of Lights puts their money where their mouth is
Blue Jacket's Fantasy of Lights puts their money where their mouth is

For people who did prison time, getting back into the workforce can be difficult.

Blue Jacket's mission is to provide those people with a second chance at employment.

This year for their 6th annual Fantasy of Lights festival, they're employing graduates from their program.

You for welcoming us into your home tonight.

Franke park has transformed into a holiday themed light show.

Fox 55's nico pennisi gives us an inside look at the festival and the folks working it.

A car drives through a tunnel of lights in franke park.

That's because blue jacket's fantasy of lights is open before usual this year.

Executive director tony hudson says the early opening is to support first responders, teachers and the military.

"opening up early gave us the opportunity to say thank you."

The two-mile-route has 130 holiday-themed light displays.

Saturday, over 300 teachers drove through for free.

"to have the ability to serve 300 teachers, that quadrupled our expectations"the light festival is providing more than just socially-distanced holiday fun this season.

It's providing ex-offenders employment opportunities.

For people who did prison time, getting back into the workforce can be difficult.

Blue jacket's mission is to provide those people a second chance at employment.

"a large number of our people that go through our career academy training at blue jacket, those adults with barriers to employment are actually employed by blue jacket.

This is us putting our money where our mouth is."

One of those employees is jonta powell.

Over a decade ago, he was arrested on drug charges.

"ten years ago i made a mistake and i did my time for that mistake."blue jacket taught him the skills to land a job, like how to conduct himself in an interview and how to work through his stutter.

"if i didn't go through blue jacket, i was gonna be back on the streets selling drugs that was my whole plan.

I went through blue jacket and found hope."

For the past ten years he's been working for community harvest food bank, even rising to leadership positions.

At fantasy of lights, he manages all personnel.

"i was given a chance and opportunity to prove myself and i prove myself to be dependable.

I didn't see it at first but other people did."powell hopes to show kids who may be mixed up in the wrong crowd,there is a way out and a different path available to them.

In fort wayne, i'm nico pennisi fox 55 news.

Advertisement

Related news coverage

You might like