Meet Chris Wilson
Author, mentor, social entrepreneur, UBalt student
At age 17, Chris Wilson was sentenced to life in prison and told he had no chance of parole. While behind bars, he decided to reflect on his troubled upbringing and focus on a positive future. Wilson crafted a master plan, a list of expectations he set to accomplish, and what should have been the end of his story became the beginning.
In his mid-thirties, Wilson did the impossible and convinced a judge to reduce his sentence, making him a free man. The Master Plan is a compelling memoir about how he turned a life sentence into a second chance.
Wilson was a student in the inaugural class of UBalt's Ratcliffe Fellows Program for entrepreneurship. Now a successful social entrepreneur, Wilson has become an advocate for UBalt's Second Chance College Program, which provides post-secondary education to incarcerated students.
In addition to appearances on the TODAY Show and The Daily Show, Wilson visited campus on March 26 to share his story with the UBalt community.
During his visit, he announced the new Chris Wilson Second Chance Scholarship Fund, which will provide scholarship support to students in the Second Chance Program.
Marcus Lilly, a sophomore in the Human Services Administration program, joined Wilson on stage to be honored as the first scholarship recipient.
"One of the things that surprised me about being free is the power of generosity," Wilson said, telling a story about a person who gave him money to start his own business when he was first at UBalt. "She told me: 'Don't pay me back, pay it forward.'"
Learn more about UBalt's Second Chance Program.