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UK football player, Ky. lawmakers huddle to discuss change in the commonwealth

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:44 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - From the grid iron, to the government.

UK Football’s Wan’dale Robinson is pushing for change in our commonwealth. He’s using his story and his foundation to do it.

Wan’dale Robinson’s father, Dale told, Kentucky lawmakers Thursday the path he was on earlier in his life, wasn’t one he wanted for his children.

Dale now owns his own business, but, he spent years in federal prison when Wan’dale was young.

“Without the right support, the right people around him, the right resources, the right mentor, they will go down that same route. Because, statistically, it’s like eight out of 10 kids, if you go to prison, your kids will go to prison.

Wan’dale said family friends gave him the support he needed to be successful, while his father was gone.

“They really been like my second parents since I was what six years old. Essentially, if it wasn’t for them I’d probably be somewhere on the wrong road, at least until he came back home,” Wan’dale said.

Dale and Wan’dale helped establish the The Wanda Joyce Robinson Foundation, named after Dale’s mother. Their goal is to support children and youth impacted by incarceration.

State Senator Reggie Thomas helped set up Thursday’s meeting. Senate President Robert Stivers said he realized there some things they could change.

“What is broken is our education system, what is broken is our socio-economic system. What is broken is our jobs and opportunity system. And when you get to the criminal justice system that’s just a manifestation of what’s broken down here,” Stivers said.

Dale and Wan’dale asked for things like a bill of rights for the children of incarcerated parents, and funding for their programs with those kids.

The talks are expected to continue.

“My dad was incarcerated. My younger brother was incarcerated. But, somebody had to say somethings got a change. And I’m OK with being the person that said somethings got to change,” Wan’dale said.

Wan’dale is giving a percentage of the money he makes from Name, Image and Likeness deals to the Wanda Joyce Robinson Foundation.

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