Kind Badass of the Week: David Lee Windecher

Each week KindaKind will feature a badass who is putting their passion to a purpose and doing something great for the world.

The Kind Badass of the Week is David Lee Windecher, From Defendant to Defense Attorney - A Product of the System.

David was once a drug dealer, gang member and larcenist who had been arrested 13 times by his 20th birthday. He spent 8 months incarcerated, and at one point faced 15 years in a Florida state penitentiary. But despite his background and criminal history, he became an attorney who is now helping troubled kids. He's a lawyer, a speaker, a non-profit founder, and a total kind badass who's on a mission to prove that no one is a lost cause.

What is your passion?

Stopping recidivism. Its not only my passion, it is my duty given my criminal history. 13 arrests. 8 months incarcerated. I was able to grow into a dual licensed attorney despite my criminal history. No one is a lost cause. Most simply do not have the necessary resources for growth or advancement.

How are you putting your passion to a purpose?

Through my non-profit. RED Inc. (Rehabilitation Enables Dreams). RED provides rehabilitative services to non-violent first time offenders and reentry eligible individuals. We implement diversion and reentry program curriculums e.g., financial literacy workshops - debit, credit and check book balancing skills development as well as budget creation; literacy in general by sponsoring GED programs or creative writing programs as well as assisting in the transitioning from the courtroom to the classroom for individuals interested in taking their education a step further; civic literacy - constitutional rights workshops so that they learn to assert themselves properly, resume writing workshops, mock interview workshops, etc. Essentially, we provide soft skills to develop them into employable individuals who are keenly aware of their rights.

How did you get started?

The journey began when I walked out of jail for the last time as a defendant back in 1997. I knew I wasn't broken. My heart was in the right place. There are so many others like me. I wanted to become a voice for those coming up out of lower-socio economic environments. I wanted to become a lawyer and advocate of the less fortunate. A lawyer to create meaningful criminal justice system reform because my experiences made me realize our system was broken. An advocate because I knew I could lead others to follow my footsteps. There are leaders. Then there are those who lead. I had a strong following as a gang member and dope dealer who sought a means to an end (poverty). I built an entire team focused on the same goal. I knew I could do the same as an advocate to the less fortunate but through legitimate means.