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Philanthropist Awards Currently Incarcerated Convicted Felons With More Than $10K In Entrepreneurship Scholarships

Chief Executive Officer and founder of The Boiler Seafood Atlanta, Chad Dillon, is offering second chances to currently incarcerated convicted felons.

This story originally appeared on Black Enterprise

Thirty one-year-old and founder of The Boiler Seafood Atlanta, Chad Dillon, is offering second chances to currently incarcerated convicted felons in a way that has never been done before.

Chad Dillon via Instagram
Chad Dillon via Instagram

On Wednesday, June 13, 2022, Dillon conducted a pitch competition
in which he awarded members of the Metro-Atlanta Reentry Prison's — Aces Program with over
$10,000 in business startup funds.

Dillon joined the ACES program in May 2022 as a speaker and mentor after expressing wanting to give back to his community in a non-traditional way. Offering the men attending the class the opportunity of a lifetime, a chance to present a business plan based on a college-business-plan-rubric Dillon previously received. Dillon planned to award the top five winners with $2,000 to use towards starting their business upon returning home to society.

"Some of my best friends have been or are incarcerated so I understand that bad decisions don't make bad people, I know if given the tools and with the willingness to succeed these individuals can turn their smarts and criminal pasts into legal, successful business endeavors," states The Boiler Seafood Atlanta chief executive officer and founder, Chad Dillon.

The pitch competition was judged by Former NFL star and philanthropist, Frank Murphy, restaurateur, Chad Dillon, pastor and philanthropist, Trell Web a.k.a. Dunk, ViaPath Technologies Chief Executive Officer, Deb Alderson and Vice President of Reintegration and , Tony Lowden (President Jimmy Carter's pastor and also formerly apart of Trump's White House Administration as a Re-entry Czar). Also in attendance was Georgia's Assistant Commissioner of DOC (Department of Corrections), Jay Sanders.

According to 11 Alive — "Research shows people with drug and alcohol addictions reoffend more often. And many states lean on additional research that shows how programs to help offenders get job training, housing, mental and substance abuse help before they're released reduce the likelihood they'll commit crimes again."

In order to help reduce the crime rate around Atlanta from repeat offenders, Dillon awarded the top five competitors with $2,000 each and surprised the additional four winners with $1,000 towards business start-up costs. The restaurateur has plans to open five additional restaurant establishments within the Atlanta market, in which he plans to provide job opportunities to convicted felons.

Dillon has not only put-up start-up costs towards the gentleman's businesses but also plans to mentor them additionally upon their return to society. He looks forward to providing business knowledge and opportunities to assist convicted felons in turning their lives around for the better. Lowden and Dillon also have plans of making the business competition a national initiative implementing it within prisons across the nation.

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