The Starts Within Organization (S.W.O.) was formed in 2011 as a non-profit organization that combats the alarming recidivism rate that hinders the growth of communities across the nation. S.W.O. was co-founded by Carlos Christian. .
At the age of 13, Carlos got involved into the drug trade which led to a 10-year prison sentence. He was incarcerated at The Marion Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio from ages 19 to 29. During his sentence, Carlos dedicated himself to rehabilitation and being a positive role model for his community. Carlos graduated from Marion Technical College majoring in Business Management with a 3.83 GPA. In addition he successfully completed an Administrative Office Technology vocational program. Upon release Carlos had support from his friends, family, and a case manager from the halfway house he was released to. His friends and family helped him out with clothing and transportation assistance and the case manager referred him to employment after his many unsuccessful attempts. After he obtained employment, housing, and his own transportation; Carlos relocated to Columbus, Ohio where he went on to homeownership, custody of his son, and mentoring currently incarcerated individuals in penitentiaries and county jails. .
During Carlos’ prison sentence he realized that he had more examples of individuals being released from prison and returning than he had examples of individuals being released from prison and going on to lead positive lives in the community. It is because of his determination to help currently incarcerated men build the same solid foundation pre and post release as he did that S.W.O. was formed. The organization is founded on the principal that individuals must Start Within themselves and Start Within their current situations. The organization takes a holistic approach to reentry providing programming for incarcerated men, their significant other, and their children.