Recipient of the AFJ/Andrew Glover Youth Program’s Outstanding Youth Award, 2003
On February 26, 2000, Jules Febre was arrested and charged with attempted robbery in the second degree. Fortunately for him, his probation officer, John Gonzalez, believed in alternatives to incarceration and knew Avenues for Justice. Within a few days — on March 2, 2000 — Jules was assigned to AFJ.
Tending to the immediate legal situation, AFJ negotiated a plea for Jules for robbery in the third degree. As a result he was mandated to adjudicated youth offender treatment and 5 years probation – but his probation status would rely on his ability to successfully fulfill the requirements of AFJ.
Since that time, Jules was a regular at our community center on the Lower East Side, the Robert Siegal Center. With the support and training he found there, he was able to graduate from Urban Academy High School in June 2001. From there, he found full-time employment at the Jivamukti Yoga Center and advanced to become the Center’s manager. While working full-time and still attending programs at the Siegal Center, he started volunteering as a tutor, helping other young AFJ clients to succeed in school.
Later, Jules took another impressive step. He trained someone to replace him at the Yoga Center and enrolled at Hunter College to work toward his Bachelor’s degree. Now Jules is an accomplished Jivamukti yoga instructor, with his own private practice. Asked to lead a class called Hip Hop Asana for 200 people at a New York City yoga conference, he made the decision to donate the class fees to the Andrew Glover Youth Program – his way of saying thanks.
If Jules hadn’t had a second chance back in 2000, he could have disappeared in the treadmill of incarceration. Young people like Jules remind all of us at AFJ of the true reason why we must persevere to help the many young people who are being lost in the system.