Daryl Walker is a New Brunswick, New Jersey native. He also happens to be a former drug dealer and ex-con.
But now, Walker is dedicating his life to transforming the lives of those who have been incarcerated by working with a local nonprofit.
According to a press release sent to EBONY.com, Darryl, currently a Production Manager at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, is a testament to the Food Service Training Academy’s mission to positively impact the community through workforce development programs.
The move is an effort to help the more than 2 million who struggle to find work after being released from jail. The difficulty faced by the former inmates when seeking employment often comes at a price: becoming discouraged from being “productive members of society and resulting in high, costly recidivism rates,” the press release states.
“For context, within three years of release, nearly 68% of ex-offenders are rearrested, and within five years, about 77% are rearrested,” according to the release.
But luckily for Walker, this was not his trajectory.
After spending decades selling drugs on the streets, Walker reached a turning point when he faced a sentence of 25 years behind bars. It was then that he realized it was time to change his life.
Walker credits the Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s Food Service Training Academy for his transition and subsequent inspiration.
Check out Walker’s inspiring story in the video above, and to learn how the free 16-week program for low-income participants changed his life.