Voices of Hope – Atticus A.

“I was 18 years old when I was sentenced to 20 years in prison. When I first went away, I was still going down the wrong path, but at some point I realized that I didn’t want to leave out of prison the same way I came in. I used to be into drugs and violence, and made a choice to change. I adopted the philosophy ‘A.S.A.P. – Always Striving And Prospering.’

“I didn’t know a lot about how to be a good citizen, like how to have a job and pay bills, so I started doing research on how I could get my life on track. That’s when I learned about Operation New Hope. When I heard Mr. Cage speak in prison, I knew it was the right place for me because they provided for everything. I wanted to be independent and not rely on handouts, but decided to put my pride to the side and signed up for the Ready4Release program.

“There ain’t no right way to do wrong, so I made the most of my opportunity to do right when I got out. I came straight to the Ready4Work program, did the 3 weeks of Career Development training, and landed a great job at Coca Cola. When I started work at Coke, I applied everything I learned from Operation New Hope about work ethic, and my supervisor is already recommending me for a supervisor position. They love me and I really can see a career there.

“I honestly don’t think I would be as successful as I am now after only 6 months out of prison without Operation New Hope. I tell everyone I know about the program because it was the push that led to my independence. I’m mentoring guys in work-release because if I can do it, I know they can do it. I’m engaged to be married, we have a baby on the way, and we have just moved into our own 2-bedroom house. I’m very spiritual and the Almighty has blessed me with the opportunity to be responsible for another human being. He provided me with all the tools to be successful. I’m in heaven now and so thankful for everything, especially the small things.”

At Operation New Hope, we believe that we are all better than our worst mistake, worst day, or worst decision. We believe in people’s ability to transform their lives through commitment and hard work. We see it every day as we support our clients’ reentry and growth. With the skills learned and confidence gained from our Ready4Release, Ready4Work and Ready4Success programs, our participants go on to become productive community members and build successful careers earning living wages. Read more stories of transformation, success and hope!

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