Meet Patrick

Goodwill Program Participant

In 1994, Patrick was sentenced to life in prison. After appealing his case and being released from incarceration…

To earn my living, raise my children and be a productive person, is REDEMPTION FOR ME…

In 1994, a federal judge pointed to Patrick and told him he was a failure of the prison system, a menace to society, and sentenced him to life in federal prison.

Growing up, Patrick didn’t have a lot of role models in his life. At an early age, he began to idolize the young men in his neighborhood who worked on the street corners selling drugs. Tempted by the fast cash, he began dealing drugs, and inevitably, his wrongdoings caught up with him.

It wasn’t until he was sentenced to  that Patrick realized what he was leaving behind, his two 18 month old daughters– something he regrets to this day.  “Those are things that we often overlook as we participate in a lifestyle that is against the law. We fail to consider the people that love us,” says Patrick. He became determined to live a better life, even if he remained behind bars, and endeavored to gain a better understanding of the legal system in order to appeal his case.

Patrick knew he had to get home and be a father to his daughters.

After ten years behind bars, Patrick appealed his case and won; his sentence was reduced from life to 16 years. While finishing out his time in prison, Patrick began to wonder how he would find a job once he was released. He wondered who would take a chance on hiring him and how he would navigate all of the advances in technology like the internet, online job applications, and cell phones, which had become mainstream while he was in prison.

Upon Patrick’s release, he transferred to a halfway house and was quickly informed about the services provided by Goodwill through other residents. The very next day, he came to Goodwill and enrolled in several of our programs; he received valuable computer training, application and resume assistance, and 120 days after his release, he became a proud employee of the City of Austin.

Patrick’s story doesn’t end there! He signed up for Goodwill’s fatherhood and financial literacy classes because he was determined to mend his relationship with his daughters, and provide a better life for them – even though they were now young ladies, and not the little girls he had left behind. His determination to succeed helped him become a supervisor with the City, and his newfound financial savvy helped him buy a new house!

“For me to be able to go back to the roots of what I’ve been taught – to earn my living, raise my children and be a productive person…is redemption,” says Patrick. As Patrick has shown, people can transform their lives through the power of work.