He was ready to return to a life of crime. Dave's Killer Bread offered an alternative.

"It's the people who have been given that second chance who work all that much harder to make something of it."

Andre Eddings’ life was beginning to look dire.

After being caught and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, Eddings was in jail with a felony record. “I remember thinking to myself, 'I’m a failure now,'” he says. “I will never amount to anything. I’m just throwing my life away.”

As a kid, Eddings had shown a lot of promise. Growing up with parents who struggled to get by, he was dedicated to creating a life for himself. “I wanted to make something of myself. I wanted to become successful. I wanted a good job making a livable wage,” he says.


Photo courtesy of Andre Eddings.

He kept a 3.8 GPA through high school, then continued to perform well academically as he went on to college and played football. So what happened? Watch:

It was only after a football injury that things went awry.

“The doctor basically gave me an ultimatum,” he says. “Keep playing and potentially injure myself for the rest of my life, or give it up and save my body.”

Eddings chose to give up his athletic career and ended up dropping out of college and moving home to work.

With no degree and stuck in a dead-end job, Eddings looked to others to find a path toward what he considered success. It didn’t take long for him to start dealing drugs — and to get caught.

When he got out of jail, Eddings wanted nothing more than a path back onto the straight and narrow.

Photo courtesy of Andre Eddings.

But with a felony on his record, that seemed impossible.

“I went to multiple interviews where I’d interview pretty well and they’d offer me the position,” he says. But once employers discovered his record, the job offers would disappear.

With few employment options and his restitution and court fees piling up, Eddings felt backed into a corner. “I was going to go back to selling drugs,” he says. What he really wanted was a solid job making an honest day’s work, but with his past preventing him from moving forward, he felt he had no choice.

That’s when he got a call that changed everything.

"I wouldn’t give up quite yet," said an encouraging friend who knew a better way.

Dave’s Killer Bread, an organic bakery in Milwaukie, Oregon, doesn't disqualify candidates based on their criminal backgrounds.

Eddings happily took a position low on the totem pole, eager to forge a path forward for himself. “I was nervous. I was a little scared. I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d never worked in production before, let alone a bakery,” he says.

He needn’t have worried: It clicked right away.

Photo courtesy of Dave's Killer Bread.

Two and a half years later, he's risen through the ranks and is a production assistant supervisor with aspirations to continue working his way up the company.

"My life has made a complete 180-degree turnaround," he says.

"Now I have two beautiful children, I’m engaged, I’m renting a house with the hopes of buying a house here in the future." He's also a mentor to other employees with similar backgrounds at Dave's Killer Bread.

Photo courtesy of Andre Eddings.

"I help other people coming into the company who have similar backgrounds to me, you know, talking to them, letting them know it can be done if you want it," he says. "With this company here, you can make something of yourself."

Dave's believes so strongly in the power of second chances because Dave himself co-founded the business after finishing a prison stint.

"The only reason employers don’t want to take on people with a background or who are convicted felons is solely out of fear," Eddings says.

For him, it's worth the risk. "You never know what you can get out of a person who is ready to make the change, wants to do better for themselves, wants to become somebody."

Photo courtesy of Dave's Killer Bread.

The hiring policy at Dave's isn't just informed by kindness — it's also good business strategy.

"In a tight job market, where motivated and engaged employees are hard to find, we have found that individuals who are given a second chance are highly appreciative of the opportunity given to them and are eager to learn and grow professionally," says Gretchen Peterson, the director of human resources at DKB.

Photo courtesy of Dave's Killer Bread.

"The second-chance partners we employ come to work grateful and happy to have a job every day — what employer doesn’t want to see that in their workforce?" she says.

If more companies hired like Dave's Killer Bread does, one desperate history after the next wouldn't have to repeat itself.

Peterson says she thinks H.R. professionals sometimes fool themselves into thinking they are getting a "better quality" candidate through the background check process.

"In my experience, there are just as many people with no background who end up being terminated for theft or fraud. In fact, it's the people who have been given that second chance who work all that much harder to make something of it."

Photo courtesy of Andre Eddings.

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Dave's Killer Bread

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
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via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture