“Growing up, I was blessed with to be raised by a mother who did all she could to keep me from the street life of South Dallas, and the unhealthy influences that were around me. Despite her best efforts, I, unfortunately made choices that would alter my life.
At the age of seventeen, I stole a car and went on a joy ride across the country with my girlfriend. I was eventually caught in New York. I was convicted of aggravated robbery and given a 20-year prison sentence. One month into my sentence, at the young age of eighteen, my daughter was born. I would spend the first fourteen years of her life in prison.
When I was released at the age of thirty-one, I was eager to finally be able to care for my daughter, be a daily part of her life, and to eventually get married. I accomplished both of those things, as well as launching my own carpentry business and serving as worship leader in my church. From the outside looking in, it seemed I had everything going for me, but that was far from the truth. I was living a double-life. Church by day, streets by night. My choices would eventually lead me to a second prison sentence, and cost me my marriage and my business.
During my second incarceration, I met one of the staff members of The Way Back, who came into the prison on a regular basis. I was encouraged to contact The Way Back when I was released, and was reminded that the staff would be there to support me and guide me every step of the way.
The Way Back was one my first stops when I was released. The staff has been pivotal in helping me, and so many others that I know who have challenging backgrounds, with their transition back into society. It is through the dedication and support of The Way Back that men and women, just like myself, can begin to see their true potential and a bright future.
I am now free. Free from shame, and free from the things that once bound me. I am confident in who I am and in my future. There is no looking back. Thanks to The Way Back, I am working full-time while I continue to build my business back up, I have several mentors, I am engaged to an amazing Christian woman, and I am focused on the future that God has planned for me.
I am so appreciative of those who have a heart to walk along side of people just like myself, who so are often labeled, forgotten, and discarded. The Way Back does so much to encourage, empower, and equip everyone so that we can become assets to our families, communities, and churches. When they say, “We are here,” they mean it!”