April Glasco in the SCLO building.
In 1995, April Glasco gave away everything in her Newtown convenience store and dedicated herself to setting up an organization to simply “help people.” In the past 16 years, Second Chance Last Opportunity (SCLO) has grown to be a beneficial part of the community, providing life-skills classes, youth empowerment programs and various other forms of support for a wide variety of community members. Glasco has had a tough battle with abuse and illness to get to where she is today, head of her much hoped for organization.
Glasco has her own story, having extricated herself from an abusive marriage before founding the organization. But its name carries a tale as well. Her father had dreamt of Glasco starting a non-profit titled “Last Opportunity,” but Glasco fell ill before she had the chance. She underwent an emergency operation, without which it’s likely she would not have survived. This inspired the other half of the name — second chance.
The organization aims to help people in the ways that they specifically need and are ready for — giving them a second chance before it’s their last opportunity. Instead of doling out alms, SCLO uses “tough love” to help people better themselves and improve their own situation.
“I’m basically molded to be where I’m at today,” she says, presiding over a meeting room in her bright purple building on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Having spent time as both a caretaker at the local juvenile detention center and working at a local rehabilitation center, she has not only experienced many of the trials that visitors to SCLO face but has also learned to help others work through them.
SCLO’s main focus is life skills classes — time management, money management, anger management, health awareness, parenting and job preparation. The organization also runs program called SISTA, a HIV/AIDS awareness program funded by the Florida Department of Health that aims to educate young women to be strong and safe and survive. SCLO is part of the HIV/AIDS Network of Southwest Florida and provides HIV testing and counseling. Youth programs aim to help young people of the community learn to “calculate the difference” — make wise choices from budgeting for school supplies to much weightier decisions.
“We together as a whole collaborate to change one person, and it can change that entire family,” Glasco explained. Community members are welcome to come for counseling services, health services, classes or even to just use a computer. Just off the foyer of SCLO is a business center open to all, where people can come and develop their resumes, fax important documents and work on the computer.
Though SCLO has experienced a great amount of support from the Sarasota community, they’re always in need of help. Fundraising is a constant concern: there are monetary needs to just keep the office itself running in addition to putting on the classes. Volunteers willing and able to teach classes are welcome to share their skills with others, and those who may not have a lesson to give but just want to help can always lend a hand painting or fundraising or whatever needs doing at Second Chance Last Opportunity — a place to help people.
1933 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Some Volunteer Opportunities: fundraising events, Farmer’s Market booth, mentoring, marketing, assisting with the newsletter.