During his nearly five-year prison sentence, Brandon Jones thought of ways to ensure that he'd never again see the inside of a prison cell once he got out.
He also made it his life's mission to keep as many young black men in Philadelphia from meeting the same fate.
Jones was one of 10 men honored at the inaugural Black Male Engagement Leadership awards last night in West Philadelphia.
Last February, his program, God's Love at Work, constructed a replica prison cell in North Philadelphia for at-risk youth to visit, "Just letting them know, jail is for suckers - education over incarceration," he said.
The leadership awards, given by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Open Society Foundation, provided the men with a total of $243,000 in grant money to fund programs aimed at improving communities.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.