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Actress La La Anthony founded the ThreeSixty program to help incarcerated men ages 18-21.
La La Anthony is helping young men understand that even a troubled past does not have to define one’s future. Through her ThreeSixty program, Anthony is providing mentorship, life coaching, legal services and reentry tools to incarcerated men ages 18-21 at the Robert N. Davoren Complex (RNDC) on New York City’s Rikers Island. One of many elements that make the program unique is the team’s effort to foster one-on-one connections with each of the young men. For those who might question how the actress developed so much compassion for and commitment to convicted criminals, she says it happens naturally.  
“At this age, they are still so young,” Anthony tells People magazine. “When you talk to them, especially if you have your own kids, you just become so much more compassionate. It feels like any one of our kids could be one bad decision away from being in a similar situation.”
In addition to founding the program, Anthony follows a hands-on leadership style. Offering weekly sessions, ThreeSixty hosts seminars with motivational speakers, activities like acting classes, mental health resources, job training and more. 
“We just make it a really fun day. We want them to be prepared with certain skills so they can really get out there and back into life and into the workforce after release,” she adds. “Just recently one of the kids in my program, who was released not even a little over a year ago, got a full scholarship to Columbia University.” 
Seeing firsthand how much impact access to the right environment, opportunities, unconditional kindness and support can have on teens, Anthony says she realized how much society tends to forget about such a vulnerable age group, especially as more and more programs across the nation face budget cuts. 

“This country is not set up with programs for teens,” she says. “A lot of their stories are similar. They were at the wrong place at the wrong time or trying to fit in with the cool kids. A lot of them had single moms who had to work and not a lot of strong male guidance. When you think of them as teenagers out there fending for themselves, you have to have more compassion. You don’t want to discard them. They’re not worthless.” 
Studies have shown Black men are more likely to relapse into criminal activity upon release from prison. To combat this tragic phenomenon, Anthony says rehabilitation programs are crucial, especially for young Black men. 
“If they did something wrong and they’re paying for their crime, let’s give them real rehabilitation while they’re there so they can come out and be better citizens,” she says. “We want them to come out and do better, and be better […] I just feel like there’s still so much opportunity at that age for change. And I can’t get discouraged by the system. I’m taking it one kid at a time, and I’m starting to just see so many incredible changes. That’s how I have to look at it: If I could help one kid, then that in itself is a success story.”
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