The moment when a murderer comes out behind the bars, do you think it’s possible for him to change himself? Will he be able to live the life as we do? Will any company permit him to work with them? These are some questions which might leave everyone uncertain. However, there are many live examples out there which are enough to answer these uncertainties. And, I think, everyone after knowing about that would really appreciate them. One of the latest examples we are mentioning here is a person named John Valverde, who has been appointed as a chief executive officer of YouthBuild USA Inc., despite being served 16 years in prison.
Valverde, the 47-year-old, was in prison for killing a man accused of raping his girlfriend. In that case, his journey next to this position isn’t short of incredible. Let’s go through the details from his early college life to Jail and then CEO here.
It happened in 1991 when he was at the age of 20 and decided to confront the photographer (Victim), Joel Schoenfeld, who had raped his girlfriend. He shot him once in the head, at point-blank range. For killing this photographer, who allegedly was on probation for two other sex offences at the time, John spent his life’s 16 years behind bars before being released on parole.
“From the first moment, I knew that what I did was wrong, but it was a long journey for me to accept full responsibility without rationalization, justification or excuse or blame,” John said. Further adding he said that although he believes “it’s never possible to make amends for taking a life,” he decided to try to transform his own life.
While serving his sentence, Valverde did his best to redeem himself and earned two college degrees, taught fellow inmates how to read and write as well as worked as an HIV/AIDS counsellor. These two degrees were – bachelor’s in behavioural science from Mercy College and a master’s in Urban Ministry from the New York Theological Seminary. Soon after getting out of prison in 2008, he worked as a paralegal. For the past seven years, he has worked for the Osborne Association, a non-profit organization providing treatment, education, and vocational service programs to the current and former inmates.
Now in a week, Valverde will take over as the CEO of YouthBuild USA Inc.. It is an organization with a global network of programs that provides counselling and job skills to low-income and disadvantaged youth, mostly between 16 and 24 or unemployed American adults, most of whom are low-income dropouts. Valverde believes that it is important for him to be honest about his past with the young people he’s trying to help.
“They are just like me, and therefore their path could be like mine, and therefore they could achieve things that they never imagined,” Valverde said in a recent interview at YouthBuild’s Somerville, headquarters.
This is the story of a person that can tend every person no matter whether he is a criminal or just a civil person to lead his life towards the way he wants!