$50K Grant Awarded to Dallas Man's Nonprofit to Help Ex-Cons Succeed in Society

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The Dallas Foundation has done something good for a nonprofit to help their mission to change lives.

The Pegasus Prize continues to invest in innovation through this grant each year. It’s awarded to nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations with a charitable purpose and hybrid organizations applying innovative approaches to addressing community needs. The Prize rewards organizations applying new ways to solve ongoing problems that are faster, cost-effective, data-driven and lead to better results for the residents of Dallas County.

Join FreeWorld was awarded the foundation’s $50,000 Pegasus Prize. The certified, minority-led organization helps people leaving the criminal justice system find careers and aims to end generational poverty and recidivism.

“It’s really heartbreaking because what we found out is that these were people who made serious mistakes, but they still wanted to be able to build a life for themselves and their families,” Wang said. "This is about second chances. For some people, it's their first chance considering how they grew up."

Jason Wang, CEO of FreeWorld and from Dallas, knows the struggle. He was incarcerated when he was a teenager. Even when he got out, he turned his life around and earned two master’s degrees. He still couldn’t find an employer that would give him a chance. For the last three years, he has devoted his life to changing that for others.

“What this grant from the Dallas Foundation represents for me is an opportunity to give back to the same communities I took so much from,” Wang said. “The name of the company is called FreeWorld and when I was incarcerated, free world was prison slang for life outside the gates. As a prisoner, I used to say I couldn’t wait to get out into the Free World.

In the last three years, FreeWorld has helped more than 1,000 people across the country emerge from the lives they used to live into productive members of society.

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