A full presidential pardon was issued to Jon Ponder before President Trump made his most recent appearance at the Republican National Convention. The man who was pardoned by Trump has been through a lot and he’s got an amazing story to tell. Ponder was convicted of a bank robbery but he was able to turn his life around while he was in prison.
He spent lots of time reading the Bible. Ponder also became a Billy Graham acolyte. As a New York resident, he got mixed up in the world of gangs when he was just a teenager. He was arrested for armed robbery at the tender age of 16 and he spent the next two decades in a wide range of different jails.
Ponder was able to overcome the obstacles that had been placed in his path and successfully founded a nonprofit program called Hope For Prisoners. The Republican National Convention provided him with the perfect opportunity to show the world how far he has come. Can you believe that he spoke with the FBI agent who arrested him standing right next to him?
“Two years ago I was honored to tell Jon Ponder’s story of transformation in the Rose Garden on the National Day of Prayer,” said the president. “Today, I am thrilled to welcome him back to the White House,” he continued. He also noted the fact that Ponder had decided to devote his life to the Lord while he was in prison.
“Jon’s life is a beautiful testament to the power of redemption,” Trump said and we cannot agree more. This is a party that is portrayed as being overly tough on crime but these events give them the chance to showcase their softer side. Trump is also very proud of everything that Ponder was able to accomplish while he was incarcerated.
“He has created one of the most successful reentry programs, Hope For Prisoners, in Las Vegas. Hope For Prisoners is a movement that began as a dream, in a tiny prison cell, and is now making a difference in the lives of thousands, truly bringing hope that there is an opportunity and a community that is waiting and willing to offer them a second chance,” the president correctly noted.
Ponder is not allowing this opportunity to pass him by. He knows how fortunate that he is to be on this stage. There are so many convicts who are never given a second chance like this one. While he worked hard for it, hard work alone does not guarantee a presidential pardon. That’s what makes this moment such a special one.
It’s not every day that you get to see a convicted felon getting this type of a second chance. “I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have the opportunity to speak here today. Not so long ago, my life was running from the police, fearing the police, and avoiding the police,” Ponder shared. He is living proof that you can always make something of your life as long as you are willing to work for it.
“Today, praise God. I am filled with hope,” Ponder implored. “I am a proud American citizen who has been given a second chance. My transformation began in a prison cell,” he finished. Moments like these go a long way towards changing the national perception about President Trump. This is a man who wants to see everyone doing well and he’s willing to step up to the plate for anyone who needs help.
Ponder has been provided with the tools that he needed to make a better life for himself. He also worked hard to position himself to take advantage of his opportunity. There’s something to be said for creating your own luck in this life and its a lesson that Ponder has been able to learn. Hopefully, the rest of the nation was finally able to sit up and take notice.