BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – On Friday, Jazzmine Wade went to the Southern University Law Center to turn her life around at the Expungement Initiative Event. She was able to get a minor mark removed from her record.

The Summer of Hope Program is helping remove nonviolent offenses from people’s records.

“It’s such a blessing,” said Jazzmine Wade, who made a small mistake seven years ago and has been carrying the repercussions ever since.

“With the theme of Peace Over Everything, this year’s Summer of Hope initiative is dedicated to bringing hope and vital resources directly to neighborhoods, individuals and families who have been affected by violence,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.

“It has hindered me from employment, so that’s why I’m excited about being able to get it off my record to move forward,” said Wade. “I was amazed that the process. It was fast, it wasn’t hard, I just had to go get a few documents.”

Louisiana allows people to expunge non-violent crimes but it can be expensive.

“Expungement fees are five-hundred-and-fifty-dollars per arrest date and so that’s a large chunk of money for people who may have been denied employment in a capacity that allows them to pay that amount of money,” Vice Chancellor of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives at Southern University Law Center Marla Dickerson said.

The fees were covered by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

“A vast majority is low-level offenses and offenses that occurred many years ago. Youthful offenses I would call them,” Louisiana Workforce Commission Deputy Assistant Secretary Tavares Walker said.

Southern University law students helped fill out some of the paperwork.

“Just going down to the courthouse can cause anxiety, and money can cause a lot of anxiety. So I believe that coming here in a relaxed environment with calm music and great people can really help ease anxiousness or worry that anyone has,” said Wade.

Removing these charges gives people a fresh start.

“People improve over time, people get wiser in life,” said Wade.

Wade was stuck in her past, but this month, she’ll start her future.

“I’m an aspiring music educator. I’ll actually be starting school at Southern University to be a music educator,” said Wade. “So now, finally, I can be free of this and it won’t hold me back.”