Success Stories


Michael Dright’s work ethic and determination helped him to work his way up to a maintenance supervisor position following his release from prison in 2019. That is, until disaster struck. His home town of Lake Charles was devastated by Hurricane Laura during August of this year. With his home destroyed, he evacuated to Baton Rouge to live with his sister until he could regroup. We asked Michael about his life before Laura, and about his plans for the future despite this major setback.

He began talking about how the Parole Project helped him to become independent. “When I was first released from prison, Parole Project came down and Andrew Hundley came inside the gates to help me load my stuff,” He said. From there, Dright added, the Parole Project team worked to get him reintegrated into society quickly, and prepared him in areas that he didn’t realize he needed. It paid off. When he moved to Lake Charles he was equipped with the tools to begin navigating his new life.

Dright applied the same determination that earned him a college degree in prison to his employment goals. There isn’t much in the way of hard work that Dright wasn’t willing to do. He began humbly, working 10-hour shifts for minimum wage while also volunteering as a reentry mentor for other recently released parolees and speaking about his experiences at local churches. “My mindset was to never ask someone to do something that I wouldn’t do first,” he said. That ethic and attitude impressed his employer and gave him a path to work his way up to supervisor,

Before Hurricane Laura, Dright dreamed of creating a community center for the kids in his area. “My goal was to mentor them in a community-based environment,” he said. “I wanted to take them out of their poverty-stricken environment and bring them into a new environment.”

Dright was working in the Lake Charles area to gather the support needed, but since Laura and his relocation he plans to start over in Baton Rouge. His first task is to build new connections and resources. “In spite of your today, tomorrow will come,” he said. “So, don’t panic about what’s going on today. Just keep working, stay humble, and know that tomorrow’s going to come.”

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