Cleveland man learns the value of a Second Chance - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland man learns the value of a Second Chance

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -- A Cleveland man says your past does not define who you are, and he's showing others that life is full of second chances.

Growing up, Jeffrey Scott had the odds stacked against him. For more than half his life the odds beat him. After an orphanage, he was homeless, he sold drugs which landed him in prison, 17 years of prison.

Now just two years after his release he's married, a minister and paying it forward. "Imagine me 15-years-old trekking around the streets having no guidance no direction," said Scott.

Believe it or not homeless at 15 wasn't rock bottom for Jeffery Scott. His darkest hours came in prison, he served a total of 17 years on drug and weapon charges.

"I had no one to turn to and talk to or to guide me to where I needed to be," he said. "I thought my world was coming to an end."

Little did he know his world was only starting. During his second and final stint in federal prison Scott's life was opened to a world he never knew, a spiritual life. "I looked at life in a with a different perspective. When I began to apply those principles to my life, it worked every time."

Two years after serving 17 years not only is he a transformed man, he's transforming others with the Second Chance Program at the Bradley Cleveland Community Services Agency.

Trying to keep others off the path he once traveled. "To get them to understand how they've fallen and they can get back up using spiritual principles. Show them God," said Scott.

Scott says he's trying to bridge the gap between mainstream society and the criminal mind because he's been there.

 Whether you're already there, serving time, or maybe headed in the wrong direction Scott and the Second Chance Program want to help.

"Go through the entire storm so when you make it through you look back and see all the things you went through and it will build character," he said. "I let them know I've been there, I've done that and I'm a living example that you can be transformed."

In addition to his work with the Second Chance Program Jeffrey is a proud husband and a Minister at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Cleveland. His e-mail is

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