BOSTON (CBS) – Walking out of the College Bound building in Dorchester, 28-year-old Paul Burns knows he’s been given a second chance after being caught up in the gang life and spending five years in prison. “I know it could’ve been worse. I know I could not be breathing. I found Boston Uncornered after I came home from jail,” Burns said.
The Dorchester native has been part of, Boston Uncornered, a non-profit that works with gang members and those who have been incarcerated and gives them hope and purpose by paying their way through college.
A special Boston Uncornered photo project is now on display at Gillette Stadium. It showcases people like Burns and how they overcame adversity.
The cause has caught the attention of Patriots captain Devin McCourty, who on Sunday will be promoting the organization for the annual “My Cause, My Cleats” game.
“So many times we kind of throw people away because of what they’ve done and don’t realize they have not had the same education or opportunity to advance the right way,” McCourty said. “And Boston Uncornered shows what education and the right opportunity they’ve had so many people flourish just because of those two things. Hopefully people see my cleats and see the murals outside.”
Mark Culliton is the Founder and CEO of Boston Uncornered. “To have a captain like Devin McCourty, who is a core influencer on the Patriots say ‘Yes I believe in these young people that others have thrown away’ is incredibly transformative,” Culliton said.
Thanks to mentoring and financial support from Boston Uncornered, Burns has just graduated from Ben Franklin Institute. He’s a proud father and like Devin McCourty ready to tackle his new chapter in life. “It means a lot,” Burns said. “It means that I am understood a little bit more. I feel like there are now more people watching me in a better light.”