Voices of Hope – Ricky B.

I was in prison for 12-13 years, wrongly accused of something I didn’t do, and I had no intention of doing the right thing when I got out. I figured I would just go right back, because there wasn’t anything for me on the outside anyway. But then I met the guys from Operation New Hope’s Ready4Release program, and they were so honest and genuine. They told me they weren’t just offering a program, they were offering real help. I am really lucky I listened to them and decided to go to the Ready4Work program when I got out.

What’s different about Operation New Hope is that they didn’t make me feel like I was just a case – they made me feel like they saw me as a person. I am not unique in this. How people make you feel will determine how far you will go.

Ready4Work was also good in helping me prepare for the interview. I get really nervous around people I don’t know, and the mock interview helped me overcome my nerves. I also took the Warehouse & Logistics vocational training that they offered, and I’ve been able to practice what I learned while on the job at Flying W Plastics.

My life now is definitely better than prison. I’m good with where I am now. I really like my job. I can see myself getting where I’m trying to go – getting a place of my own, having independence, and just trying to be comfortable. I used to have trouble accepting help from others, but Operation New Hope taught me how to be more comfortable with that. And I like that I’m working towards not needing help in the future.

My advice – if you need help, then come through that door at 8th and Main in Jacksonville. If you do that, and you accept the help, then you’ll be alright like me.


With the skills learned and confidence gained from our Ready4Release and Ready4Workprograms, our participants go on to become productive community members and build successful careers earning living wages. To read more stories of transformation, success and hope, visit – https://operationnewhope.org/our-stories/voices-of-hope/

Ricky’s manager at Flying W Plastics had this to add: 

Ricky has been pretty exceptional. He rides his bike everywhere. He’s always early to every shift and never misses a day. He does whatever is asked of him, is a great team player, and gets along with everyone. I’m very glad he’s part of our team.”

Flying W Plastics is a West Virginia-based manufacturer of polyethylene pipe products for water, gas, oil, sewer, geothermal, and conduit applications. In 2020, Flying W Plastics invested $8 million in their new facility here in Jacksonville. They credit the success of their launch to their partnership with Operation New Hope. Since partnering with Operation New Hope, they have hired 15 Ready4Work clients, been able to fully staff their workforce, and note that their retention rate has improved by 50%. 

We extend our sincere thanks to Flying W Plastics for being a company that cares about our community by being a Second Chance Supporter! Does your company want to become a Second Chance Supporter? You can learn more here or connect with us below.

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