Francine Empowers People to Take Their Life to the Next Level

“Dynamic.” “Genuine.” “Funny.” “Powerful.” These are just a few words audience members use to describe Francine Lucas-Sinclair. And it’s no wonder, because her personal story from heartbreak to triumph is an inspiring one.

Born to Frank and Julie Lucas, Francine was only three years old when a task force consisting of 10 agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and 10 New York Police Department detectives with the Organized Crime Control Bureau (OCCB) raided her home and arrested her father on drug trafficking charges. After her father agreed to name corrupt law enforcement agents (in exchange for a reduced sentence), Francine entered the Federal Witness Protection Program. She spent the next three years hiding not only her real identity, but also her pain and sadness.

Francine later relocated with her mother to Puerto Rico. Only then did she learn why her father was in prison. And just as fast as her father disappeared from her life, he reappeared, and her family attempted to live a normal life. But the fairy-tale life Francine envisioned did not materialize. In 1984, during what she thought was a family vacation to Las Vegas (but what was really a highly-orchestrated drug deal), Francine witnessed her mother being arrested by Federal Agents.

Sent to live with her grandparents in Puerto Rico, and with a clearer idea of what her parents had done, Francine devoted herself to school and stayed out of trouble. She graduated high school and attended the University of Puerto Rico, graduating with a degree in public relations.

Once she entered the corporate world, she thought her past was behind her, but it was not. The negative memories from her childhood still haunted her and caused her to second-guess her decisions and hold herself back. She was so afraid of people finding out about her past that she sabotaged her present.

In 2001, just when she was getting her life on track and attaining success in the mortgage industry, Francine learned that her father sold his story to Hollywood for a movie called American Gangster (released in 2007). The feelings she thought she could escape were back-and this time for the world to see. She knew she had to do something to exorcise those ghosts.

That’s when Francine began researching about children of incarcerated parents. She also began to work with children’s organizations to speak about her experiences. In the process, she realized that her message of overcoming past setbacks and negative beliefs resonated with a diverse audience, from business professionals to working moms to youth to criminal justice system workers. Today Francine speaks and writes about her core message of rising above past experiences and embracing a future filled with hope, happiness, and success.