Everyone deserves a second chance!

Many of the 26,000 people who leave Illinois prisons annually have trouble finding employment. Let's fix that together.

Welcome to a Second Chance

Lewis Simmons Foundation is an Illinois-based non-profit organization that creates second-chance opportunities for nonviolent convicted citizens. We help them gain meaningful employment and business opportunities so they are not forced to repeat the same mistakes due to systematic cultures that restrict them from securing employment.

Since 2018, our second chances have helped close the health and wealth gap in underserved communities.

Re-Entry Citizens Helped Annually
Events, Training and Job Fairs Hosted
Agencies, Organizations and Businesses Partners
Correctional Agency Job Readiness Program

We take a three-pronged approach to creating second chances:


We work with disadvantaged and re-entry citizens to prepare them for the workplace or help them step into entrepreneurship. The program includes:

  1. Interview training and Mock interview preparation
  2. Resume preparation
  3. Ongoing job mentoring and coaching
  4. Strategic job fairs
  5. Entrepreneurship training

We also collaborate with local correctional and law enforcement agencies to host this program within their facilities. One such program exists at the Kane County Sheriff's Office.


We partner with community resources, agencies and businesses to understand their hiring opportunities and provide vetted candidates who are ready to meet those needs.


We partner with community organizations to provide wraparound community-based services and bring awareness to our services and the why of our mission.

Our Story - We know how it feels to need a second chance.

The work we do is very important to us because of the experiences of our founder, Terrie Simmons. Through her business and personal endeavors, Terrie was already on a mission to close the wealth and health parity gap in underserved communities.

When Terrie’s son was younger, he faced the possibility of jail time for a minor offense. She realized that many young men and women make mistakes but do not have the means to help them resolve their legal troubles without serving time. As the mother of an African American son, she thinks about this reality daily. This is why she founded the Lewis Simmons Foundation (LSF) in 2018.

Today, this is why our staff do the work we do to help underserved individuals get a second chance at life. Our vision is to “champion change for those whose voices are stifled and so often go unheard.”

LSF operates under the umbrella of its parent company, Strategic Exceptions Professional Consulting Inc. (SEPCI).

Family portrait: Lewis Simmons Foundation

Giving one person a second chance impacts us all… the second chances we've created have impacted 10,000 lives.

Here is how we have been creating second chances so re-entry citizens can carve a path to a bright and healthy future.

Entrepreneurship: Turning Business Ideas into Reality

By Terrie Simmons | January 23, 2024

We champion entrepreneurship in our communities. On January 23, 2024, The Lewis Simmons Foundation partnered with the Woodforest Bank to host the Woodforest Foundry entrepreneur workshops where we help people…

Holiday Cheer: Giving a Little Love During the Holidays

By Terrie Simmons | December 26, 2023

For the 4th quarter, we focused on spreading holiday cheer by making the holiday season a little easier for some of our clients. This helped to prevent them from repeating…

Golf Outing: Business and Community Building

By Terrie Simmons | September 15, 2023

On September 15, 2023, local businesses, individuals and corporations joined us for a day of giving back and networking at our first BUSINESS & COMMUNITY BUILDING GOLF-OUTING! It was an…

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