“We do not heal isolation. Connecting with others is how we develop compassion for others and for ourselves. A person is a person through other persons; you can’t be human in isolation; you are human only in relationships”-Desmund Tutu
The COSA program is committed to creating a safer community by supporting adults in reentry.
COSA envisions a world where every person is valued and given the opportunity to take responsibility where harm is done, recognized, and restored, making this as right as possible.
Here at COSA Fresno, we have witnessed many people transform their lives. They live in amends and give back to their community.
Here is David’s Story.
David was born and raised in Fresno. In the early 2000’s David was sentenced to a 25 years-to-life sentence. He was only 17 with a life term sentence. The tough-on-crime laws did not give David and his family much hope. The years influenced David and gave him time to reflect and think about his wrongful actions and the impact on all the people involved. He decided to participate in the Gang Prevention Program. David took full responsibility for his actions and acknowledge the harm he had caused. He was determined to change his life, and “pay it forward.”
In 2018, new prison reforms gave David and his family hope. After he was determined to be eligible, David’s wife met the COSA Program Director at a community event. After the encounter, David and his wife discussed how COSA would support him upon release. David submitted his application to the COSA Case Manager. After his acceptance, the COSA Case Manager and David discussed a wellness plan.
David was paroled in December of 2020. The Cosa Team had been working diligently to have a COSA Circle ready for him. In January of 2021, he had his first circle meeting. He discussed his wellness plan with his circle and his journey started. In March of that same year, he completed the Solar Installation Program through Grid Alternatives. He has been open about his past and has been asked to be a speaker at a few schools in our community. He shares his story with the hope that young people will be influenced and inspired to leave gangs and promote peace and safety. David’s story is relatable to a lot of young people in the community of Fresno. His willingness to share and read the remorse letter he wrote for his survivors was an important part of taking accountability and begin his living amends.
Many times he has shared the joy he feels going to work because he knows he is contributing to his community. David is remorseful for his wrongful actions and lives his life trying to be the best version of himself every day for himself, his family, his survivors, and all the people of his community.