Growing up in a primarily matriarchal household, Lymus never wanted to repeat the mistakes his father made. “I had a strong mother. She pretty much raised me by herself. My father—I can’t say much…,” he shares, “He was around. I knew who he was, but he didn’t play a major role in my life.”
Unfortunately, negative behavior led to justice involvement, which derailed both Lymus’ life and his intention to be a present dad. While in prison, he was unable to watch his young daughter grow up. He simply couldn’t be the dad he always wanted to be.
Luckily, Lymus story doesn’t end behind bars. While incarcerated, he created a plan to reroute his life’s path. He reached out to The Fortune Society. Through letters, we reassured him that when he was released, we were there to welcome him home with open arms and offer him the necessary resources to thrive in the community. In 2016, after over 23 years in prison, we kept our promise. “Fortune’s been there for me in every single way,” he notes.
Supported by our caring staff—over half of whom have justice involvement experience themselves—Lymus completed our Employment Services program, where he acquired the professional development skills needed to be competitive in today’s job market. Today, he is a Substance Use Counselor within our Treatment Services program. It’s a win-win: Not only is he inspiring other individuals with justice involvement through his story of personal transformation, but he is also finally able to be the father he’s always wanted to be.
“I’m proud of the fact that I’m there. I’m present,” he shares, “I’m there to hold them, to comfort them. If they need advice—I can give them what them what they need financially, [too]. I can help them, which I wasn’t able to do. But now, my daughter, when she needs something, she’s like, ‘Papi, I need something,’ and [I can say] ‘Alright. Here you go.’ I’m able to do it.”