Voices of Hope – Jacques D.

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“After several years in prison, I got tired of being stagnant. I decided I needed to put things from my past to the side. I came to the realization that prison is a university, and I was going to make the most of that education. I started studying, reading, and learning in order to broaden my mind. I focused on spirituality and self-evaluation and realized that no one can stop me but me.”

“I first learned about Operation New Hope in 2017 when I enrolled in the InsideOut Dads program at Baker Correctional Facility. My daughter was born while I was incarcerated, but I kept in contact with her and did everything I could to be the best father I could be. The fatherhood class was great, but it turned out to be so much more than that. The instructor Ronnie Cage made a big impression on me. I still had 3 years to go on my 19 year sentence, but I never forgot him. After I was released in November 2020, I stayed with my aunt for a while. I soon released that my family members have their own burdens, and I needed to find my own place to stay. So I called Mr. Cage, and he got me into the Ready4Work program right away. And I’m so thankful that he did.”

“Ready4Work is great. Transitional housing was my motivation to join the program, but there is so much more to it. It’s just up to the individual to make it work. In order to be someone that you’ve never been before, you have to do things that you’ve never done before. Instead of letting my pride get in the way, like it would have in the past, I accepted the help. The instructors, case managers, and job coaches are all so sincere and helpful. I took advantage of the Forklift Certification Training and with that was able to land a job right away. I’ve been at that same job since March 2021, and I’m looking into getting my CDL to earn even more.”

“It’s all progressing really fast for me. I’m doing really well, and my family is amazed by my transformation. I have my own apartment now, and I’m loving the peace and quiet. I’m going to continue focusing on reaching and setting goals to start my own business one day. I want to help people and find a way to give back.”

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