Program Teaches Inmates Private Enterprise


Rodriguez, 31, the optimistic future well service operator, was 18 when he assaulted a police officer and was handed a two-year sentence. The father of two young children insists that, with God’s help, his future will be brighter.

His business, he told the Houston Chronicle, will concentrate on the oil fields about 18 miles south of Vernon, providing services ranging from sophisticated well maintenance to “routine roustabouting.” “Our desire and dedication,” he says, “are to pure excellence in this industry.”

Such sentiments surprised Smith when he first visited the program as a volunteer eight years ago. “I expected to meet caged animals, very rough, very aggressive and very cynical men,” he says. “I met these men who were very optimistic and determined in a way that many of us in free world business aspire to be.”

Ironically, says Smith, his students’ rough lives may provide a useful background for prospering in the seesaw world of legitimate business. Every successful businessman has failed, and the ability to regroup is key to future success, he says.

“With that big ‘X’ on their backs,” Smith says, “these men have been through so much that they have developed a remarkable degree of resilience.”

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Posted by on Apr 1st, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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