Success Story

After facing charges of armed robbery at 18 and spending time in and out of jail for more than a decade, Dante Riley found himself limited to working odd jobs with employers that would hire someone with a record. This meant he had experience as a factory worker and in roofing and landscaping, but making something like construction into a career seemed out of reach.

The longest time Dante served in prison, four years from 2018-2021, was a turning point. He participated in the RWI (Recovery While Incarcerated) program. His father died in 2020, and he wasn’t able to attend the funeral. In short, that time made him think about what he was missing in life and the type of person he wanted to be. Then Dante found out about the BY Training program.

“Honestly, I wish I’d found out about this program back when I was 18 because it could have set me on a good path from an even earlier age!” says Dante. “No one in the class cared about my past record. As long as I showed up and did the work, they were only there to help me succeed.”

Since graduating from the BY Training program at the Westville Correctional Facility, Dante has been working for Rieth-Riley Construction in Indianapolis. In his own words, the experience has been transformative: “I now have a job that contributes to a pension for me. I know without question I can provide for the needs of my family. I’ve been able to buy a new car, and now I’m saving up for a down payment on a house. Plus, I can drive around my town and point out roads I helped pave. All of that is life-changing.”

Now Dante looks forward to a future filled with family bonfires and time with his two sons. “I have two boys in high school. They’re both A students, on the honor roll, and really involved in sports at their school. I couldn’t be the parent I want to be to them behind bars. BY Training helped me become a better person, a better parent, and a better professional.”

Stories like Dante’s wouldn’t be possible without support from Lilly Endowment – Thank you!

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