Freedom through fitness
ASUF offer formerly incarcerated people professional training in the fitness industry and help them use this to create profitable and meaningful careers.
Virgin Unite recently gathered members of its community in New York City to celebrate and support A Second U Foundation (ASUF) and its founder Hector Guadalupe. They learnt about ASUF’s work, the successes, the challenges, and ways they can support its further development. The attendees were treated to custom yoga and strength sessions from ASUF graduates and leaders, as well as the chance to hear personal stories from those closest to the program.
“The ASUF event in NYC was a wonderful occasion – bringing together members from the Virgin Unite community, at the gorgeous new NYC Virgin Hotel, all while celebrating one of our most inspiring partners. Hector has a unique gift for seeing possibilities and lifting those around him. The work of ASUF is thoughtful and innovative, and the model is something that can change the world – for people in need of a second chance, and for the communities that surround them. I look forward to seeing the incredible impact they will continue to have,” said Lisa Kurdziel, Community Manager at Virgin Unite.
ASUF founder, Hector Guadalupe, has been deeply impacted by the criminal justice industry – spending 10 years in federal prison. Hector returned home after his sentence with a renewed passion for fitness and a desire to work, unfortunately he also came home to closed doors, and to people not wanting to give him a second chance.
Persevering, Hector went on to build a successful personal training business, and then created A Second U Foundation. Virgin Unite has had the pleasure of getting to know Hector and learning about his experiences and business model over the last two years – it shares his passion for disrupting the status quo.
According to Hector, “ASUF and Virgin Unite are both disruptors – both innovators for good and for change. We are aligned on our missions to change the world and disrupt society. To make an everlasting impact that can affect millions.”
When reflecting on the NYC event Hector shared, “The tour that recently took place in NYC was the first of its kind. It exposed different levels within the criminal justice industry and how human trafficking comes in all forms. Over the course of the two days we covered wrongful convictions, policy reform, justice involved youth and entrepreneurship. We heard from individuals that have overcome insurmountable obstacles and have become proven success stories as contributing members of society. These individuals have proved that despite every horrible circumstance they have endured, reform is real. A Second U Foundation produces successful entrepreneurs.
Looking forward, one of ASUF’s key programme’s is a 10-week intensive training programme (which already has achieved remarkable success) – focusing on returning citizens to profitable, successful careers in the wellness industry, as well as providing holistic, wrap-around support during entrepreneurship journeys.
Participants in the programme are provided with meals, housing, interview attire, technology resources, and course work – all contributing to gaining personal training certification. Participants are also afforded opportunities to specialise in yoga, breathwork, nutrition, and indoor cycling. Upon completion of the programme, graduates are connected to high-end gyms in the New York area for employment opportunities.
ASUF is excited to expand its work in 2023 through the development of its online platform, the construction and opening of ASUF’s North Carolina headquarters.
Hector’s hope is that these new endeavours will allow the ASUF team to serve more people in need than ever before, in meaningful and innovative ways – guiding them toward well-paying careers which set them, and their families, up for multi-generational success.
To learn more about A Second U Foundation and support Hector and his work visit the website.