Hailing from Prince George’s County, MD, Andre Thomas Jr. at 29 years of age is the founder of Gladiators Of Success, Inc. a multiunit real estate investor, a United States Air Force veteran, the CEO of Gladiator Enterprises, LLC and an Elevator Mechanic for the Architect of the Capitol. He is also a proud son, and the oldest sibling of 7.
My entire life I have seen the long lasting and immediate effects of the incarceration system. Those effects have repeatedly hit close to home. From my father, Andre Thomas Sr, who was incarcerated from when I was 3 weeks old, until 9 years of age, to cousins and uncles, I have seen the affects of prison time and the affects of not only the person incarcerated, but lasting trauma that experience has on a family.
Moreover, I have found that not only is there a lack of resources that the tools to truly succeed, as an at-risk member of the community, our prison system is almost 100% punitive, with little to no emphasis on rehabilitation. This ultimately leads to a revolving door cycle that has to be stopped.
As a young man, I have always believed that if you have a problem with something in your community, you should be part of the solution, and do everything you can to affect CHANGE. That's where Gladiators Of Success, Inc. comes in. We believe that everyone makes mistakes, but with the right resources, an unfortunate circumstance can either be avoided entirely through Proactivity, or be responded to with rehabilitation that initializes an evolution in mind, body, and spirit for returning citizens that would otherwise have to fend for themselves. Finally, by establishing a fraternal network of Gladiators we keep everyone uplifted, encouraged, and working together toward collectivity be successful
Being proactive in community outreach provides the keys to success. We provide various event drives and giveaways, to our community. We also provide the skills necessary that are crucial to a returning citizens success. These skills include (but are not limited to):
1. Dress for success
2. Resume building
3. Financial literacy
4. Mental health programs and sponsors
5. Literacy training
6. GED education
7. Vocational Training (culinary arts, landscaping, barbering, audio/video, marketing)
8. Internship/ referral to entry level positions
We establish a network of Gladiators that are seeking to help themselves and/ or their community by connecting expertise and experience to people that desire the knowledge and help needed to attain wealth. This is the ecosystem that is Gladiators Of Success, Inc.
We raised 580 turkeys, between 2017 and 2019, which lead to the 2019 Turkey Summit. The Turkey Summit established a network of small business vendors and owners, and mental health counselors, who were introduced to the community that needed these resources the most. We hosted a panel discussion with some of DC’s best and brightest leaders, to discuss the importance of giving back. Currently, we co-host a “Guns Down Gloves Up!” event, as seen on ABC 7 News, in DC with, That’s a Plug Media, that offers alternate solutions to gun violence and hardship.
We wrote a letter of recommendation, to grant parole to Raheem Turner, a returning citizen, sentenced to 15 years of incarceration, at the age of 17. He was successfully granted parole, in 2019. One year later, he is an employed contractor of Gladiator Enterprises, LLC with a salary of 20/hr. We formed a limited partnership with That’s a Plug Media, in collaboration with returning citizen, Jerrell Brown, who’s goal is to plug the average person into any industry they are interested.