To everyone else, her father was a hero. A Vietnam vet and a police officer, he was widely respected by the community, but at home, his family lived in constant fear of his rages. Coral suffered her father’s physical and mental abuse for years before escaping into a marriage at age 19. The marriage didn’t last and she began spiraling out of control, eventually getting arrested for theft, fraud, and embezzlement.
She came to terms with her past, took responsibility for her actions, and turned her life around in prison. She dedicated her life to helping others learn from the mistakes that she herself had made, but when she was released, no one would hire her. So she went to school, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in marriage and family therapy (she’s currently completing her second MA, in divinity).
She and a partner started a nonprofit, Empowered to Change, devoted to helping returning citizens find housing, work, and peace of mind. “Amendment 4 means that I matter,” she said. “In prison I learned what my convictions were and I learned who I really was. Amendment 4 means that I get to stand up for my convictions.”
We believe in second chances. Watch Coral’s full story: