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Recalling the day he was sentenced to 25 years in prison, Leroy Lyles remembered feeling like the tunnel ahead of him was so long and dark and he could barely see a pin-prick of light at the end.
At his lowest point, when no one was visiting him in prison or sending any letters, he came to the realization that his situation was completely of his own making. “I put myself into situations I had no business being in and was trying to be somebody I wasn’t,” Leroy said. He came to understand that if he was responsible for his condition, then he could control his outcome. “It was then that I realized I had to do some changing.”
After serving 21 years and 3 months of his sentence, Leroy was released in 2018 and came to Operation New Hope for support in his quest for change. With determination, he completed the Ready4Work program and additional vocational training to obtain his CDL.
Ready to start working, Operation New Hop connected Leroy with a yard waste collections company that was hiring drivers. “They told me they already knew about my background and they were willing to work with me. Right away, they embraced me – they gave me good training. And Operation New Hope made it possible.”
Like the aperture on a lens, Operation New Hope opens pathways and possibilities, making the light at the end of the tunnel shine brighter. “They wouldn’t stop until I got a job and I can’t be more appreciative of all the efforts of Operation New Hope.”