We believe that some people should have the right to a second chance. In that spirit, President Obama granted clemency towards the end of his presidency to a man named John Gargano, Jr. Mr. Gargano was sentenced to 30 years in prison for using and selling drugs despite his crime not being violent and despite being a first-time offender. Since being released from prison on President Obama’s orders, Mr. Gargano has completed an Associate’s degree in Business Management at Hostos Community College. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA and subsequently was able to transfer into New York University, on scholarship. Mr. Gargano has now earned his degree from NYU. In fact, he was even selected by his classmates as the school’s undergraduate student convocation speaker.
As President Obama writes today on Instagram, “As President I had the chance to review requests for clemency from people who were incarcerated. It was a task I never took lightly, since I knew my decision could change the course of someone’s life. That was certainly true for John Gargano, Jr. I granted John clemency in 2016, and just last month, he graduated from New York University with an impressive 3.9 GPA and a Bachelor of Science in Leadership and Management Studies…John’s life is a testament to the power of a second chance — and I could not be prouder of him.”
Ivy Coach salutes New York University for offering Mr. Gargano this second chance, which he made good on, and we salute Mr. Gargano for doing right by President Obama and NYU by graduating with a 3.9 GPA and being named the school’s student commencement speaker. Well done! We leave you with the words of Alex Traub of The New York Times who recently profiled Mr. Gargano: “On Thursday, after a remarkable reversal in circumstances, Mr. Gargano, 52, graduated from [New York University’s] School of Professional Studies and served as a keynote speaker at the virtual ceremony. Next month, he will start a new job as general manager of Craft, the flagship restaurant of Crafted Hospitality owned by the chef and television personality Tom Colicchio.” A remarkable reversal indeed!
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