Graduate Spotlight: Jason Roberts

How did you make your way to TPOM?

I came up for parole at Northwest and started thinking about what was going to be best for me. I didn’t have to come to a program, but I felt it was best for me to be in a structured environment and then go to my parents’ house. I wanted a faith-based program and with the classes and AA, and other services, TPOM stuck out.

What were some of your concerns as you began the program?

I didn’t know anybody and I was nervous about the unknown. How was I going to have money, get a job, and just get around? I was afraid I’d mess up and break a rule. There are a lot of rules! But once I got here, they had everything I needed. I got food stamps, a food box, a bus pass, and a job. I started telling the new guys coming in that the rules aren’t that bad. The camaraderie of the guys in the house was so great; they wanted to help me get started. The staff was amazing, too.

How is your life different now?

I’ve lost five friends from my hometown in the last few months that OD’d. I was on that path. Every day was the same process of getting money, then getting high. It seems strange to say it, but TDOC saved my life. When I grew up, I was never taught about God. But in prison, guys were saying, “God is doing this.” I started going to church and Bible study in prison and I think God led me here. Now I go to an outside Bible study and Thursday night’s spiritual direction with David is my favorite class. I’m grateful for my new life. God never gave up on me. I sent your text about doing an interview to my daughter to show her how far I’ve come.

What future plans do you have?

I’ve got a good job rebuilding engines for heavy equipment for now, but I want to go back to school and train to be an architect. I want to get my granddaughters back into my life. I want to be baptized when my parents can come and witness it.

What advice do you have for others who might be thinking about reentry?

Take this opportunity. Don’t ever give up. Put God first and keep thanking him. With his help, you can make good things happen in your life.

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