Voices of Hope – Toby D.

“I spent time at Baker and Columbia Correctional Facilities for possession of firearms. I heard about Operation New Hope while incarcerated, but thought I wouldn’t be able to get into the program because of my charges. But the Ready4Release case managers worked with me to get me signed up.

“Even though I had a job connection waiting for me when I was released from prison, I still wanted to go through the program to receive additional support and training. I was really fortunate that the owner of the company believes in second chances and is willing to work with anyone that is willing to help themselves. He is very supportive and held the job for me until I graduated.

“I learned a lot while at Operation New Hope. The Ready4Work program helped me open up more, see other people’s points of view in a better way, and encourage myself more. I took advantage of the warehouse and forklift certifications which have given me additional edge on my resume. The mock interviews really helped me improve my interviewing skills – especially now that I am one doing the interviews!

“I’ve been working now at Another Broken Egg Café since November 2021. I applied what I learned at Operation New Hope and got promoted to Manager and Kitchen Manager, and I’m looking at getting promoted to Assistant General Manager at a new location. I’m now hiring Ready4Work graduates to work for me. I’ve hired 7 people from the program and love working with the Job Coaches at Operation New Hope as an Employment Partner. We’re like a family here at work. I know how hard the reentry struggle is, and I want to give a chance to others.

“Life is great now. I’ve got a house and a car, and I’m looking to buy some land. I’m building a food truck business with my fiancé. We’re raising our 5 kids to do well, and that’s a good thing.”

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