From Prison to PhD: A Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances is the inspirational autobiography of Jason Marque Sole, a former drug dealer, leader of a notorious street gang, and a three-time convicted felon who completely turned his life around. The eldest of three children, Jason was raised on the mean streets of the south side of Chicago by a father who was addicted to cocaine and an overburdened mother who was left to pick up the pieces. Tired of having empty pockets, Jason joined a local gang and quickly rose to a lucrative position of authority. When he was sixteen, Jasonï¿½s mother sent him to live with relatives in Waterloo, Iowa in an effort to save him from the allure of the streets, but his attraction to easy money and a life of crime was too powerful.
At the age of 18, Jason was caught with a firearm and received jail time along with probation. At 21, he was caught with 18 grams of crack cocaine and convicted of second-degree possession of a controlled substance. Jason was released from prison on work-release after serving two years. But he knew the only way he would ever truly succeed was if he got an education. At the age of 25, he began his undergraduate studies in Criminal Justice and became a tireless community volunteer. In 2005, he was set up by his best friend and faced over 9 years in prison. He gained a lot of support from the community which helped him secure a downward departure. Jason took the most of his second chance. In December 2006, he earned a bachelorï¿½s degree in criminal justice, followed by a masterï¿½s degree just a year and a half later. He is now in the final phase of earning his PhD in Public Safety Leadership with a specialization in Criminal Justice. Jason Sole is living proof that one can overcome the difficulties of poverty, gang membership, and violence.