OPINION: Corey Glenn’s Reinvention Story Deserves Your Attention
BY CLYDE HUGHES | AC JosepH Media
I found one news article on Bridgeton’s Cory Glenn during an exhaustive Google search as I researched my story him over the past month.
Actually, the story wasn’t even about him. The 2014 NJ.com article talked about Kristopher Williams, who pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone after being busted to illegally distribute 5,000 oxycodone pills.
Glenn was mentioned in the five-paragraph story as a co-conspirator, who had been sentenced to an 11-year prison sentence in federal court, according to a press release from the U.S. attorney’s office.
READ: Corey Glenn’s Transformation Helps Others Change Lives As Well
Glenn is living a different life now as a community liaison and life skills coach for the nonprofit Life Worth Living, which is trying to reach out to at-risk youth to keep them from going down the road Glenn did.
While Glenn’s message resonates with many of the youth he comes in contact with, the past is always there — like the lone NJ.com news article about him — as if time is standing still with that one news story.
Glenn is now a business owner, hiring his own crew for Desired Version Detailing, a car washing business in Bridgeton. He is finding his most impactful work, though, talking to students who are the age of his own kids — sounding less than a father and more like a mentor.
One of the main points to Glenn’s story is that not everyone makes it back from where he has been. In fact, the vast majority don’t. According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, near 75% of offenders 13 or more criminal history points find themselves back in prison.
Glenn was on that path after being jailed as a juvenile and dropped out of high school. Glenn’s story of determination and keeping a promise to his month and his sentencing judge to turn himself around is the stuff the movies and novels.
My point is that it shouldn’t be.
A society that looks after each other, seeks to uplift everyone along with help and inspiring those who needs it the most shouldn’t need these stories to be the exception. To Glenn’s credit, he is making sure his experience is not a one-off.
Along with speaking to students, he is also writing letters for current young prisoners in the system, advocating for them and encouraging them to leave the behaviors that got them in problem behind. Glenn could have very easily said I found my way, now find yours.
“Cory fulfilled every promise he made,” said John Fuqua, founder of the Bridgeton nonprofit Life Worth Living. “I believe his testimony should be share not only across South Jersey and New Jersey but across the country, because it’s about owning what you did. It’s about looking yourself in the mirror and saying listen while I’m here, I’m going to redeem myself. I’m going do something different.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Glenn’s story is one that should be repeated in courthouses around the country. It should be shared in schools as well and among at-risk youth. Too many of your young people have given up hope but there is a path forward.
Glenn found it and he is making sure others learned from his mistakes and bad decisions. This deserves more than just one news story.
Now, there’s two.
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