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Charlotte Smith is the true embodiment of what it means to be redeemed and given a second chance at a life after prison. One of the many success stories of Operation New Hope, Smith has really turned her life around and has taken that path down the straight and narrow. After her departure from Federal Correctional Camp, Operation New Hope was able to quickly find her a job with Allied Plastics Manufacturing Company, and she has been working her way up in the organization since. Smith’s dedicated work ethic, commitment, and God given ability to lead, has earned her with many promotions to different managerial positions for Allied.
Not only has she been able to show leadership abilities in the business world, but she has also shown leadership capabilities within serving her local community as well. With the spiritual advice and guidance of her mentor Pastor Eric Gibbs, she has been able to tap into other gifts and skills to help make a difference in Jacksonville, Florida. Smith has made it part of her life’s mission to go back into the local prisons to give spiritual encouragement and life advice for those still incarcerated looking for a glimmer of hope. At her local church, she has been given many leadership roles including being on the Board of Directors, Head Mentor for Women and Youth, Head Usher, Dance Instructor, Beautification Director, and Prison Evangelist.
Moreover, acting as the poster child for Operation New Hope, Smith had a seat at the table during a roundtable discuss with Vice President Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump, and Governor DeSantis in July 2019. During this meeting, she shared the importance of having a second chance at life after prison. Smith was the voice of the people as she spoke passionately about the importance of protecting those that need additional resources and assistance transitioning back into communities. Smith talked about her experience and how more needs to be done to fund and protect Ready4Release and Ready4Work programs.
All in all, many prisoners go back to life as usual once they have been released but Smith does not fall under that category. She has been able to take everything learned after her release and pay it forward. Surely her being chosen to be on the Board of Directors for Operation New Hope will lead to her impacting even more lives. Smith will be that relatable Voice of Hope for returning citizens.