WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A large group of women came together for a luncheon at Thalian Hall today. The Wilmington Police Department sponsored the event as part of the U-Turn program, which helps those with less than favorable pasts turn their lives around.
Wilmington Police say the purpose of the U-Turn luncheon is to bring struggling young women together with positive mentors to help them make a U-turn in their lives.
"If we surround people with good role models who are willing to step up and be that mentor, then I think that's an important piece as we move forward," Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said.
One of those positive role models was a former prison inmate and the keynote speaker. Lynn Burke went from behind bars to taking the bar.
Burke's troubles began when she got pregnant right out of high school. Struggling to feed four children, Burke turned to crime, which landed her a 10-year prison sentence.
Worried for her four children, Burke turned her life around in prison by getting a college degree and eventually becoming a lawyer.
"It's real important for people to know that have made mistakes in their life that ends up leading them to prison or jail or getting arrested to know that they can still be whatever they want," Burke said.
Burke says everyone makes mistakes and gets as many second chances as they need. She says it is up to those people to start over and change their lives.