As a teenager, Pedro Morales was living "the fast life." He sold drugs to make as much money as he could, learning early on that he couldn't depend on others for help.
"It was just me, my mom, and my three other siblings," Pedro explains. "If I wanted something, I had to go and get it."
His father is incarcerated, and without a strong father figure in his life, Pedro turned to the wrong crowd. He found himself easily influenced and misled.
"I did school until like 10th grade … I kept getting incarcerated on and off," he says.
And then came methamphetamine.
When Pedro arrived in court, he faced 11 charges. He took a plea agreement and entered prison again last year at the age of 18.
"I parole in May of 2020," Pedro says. "I'll be 24 when I get out."
A PRISON EDUCATION
Finding a healthy and supportive community in prison can be challenging, especially for a young person.
"I was only 18 when I got here," Pedro says. "I'm not really used to it."
But getting involved with Prison Fellowship Academy® has made a noticeable impact on his life. He's attended Bible classes, got his GED last month, and has had tattoos from his past removed to help better prepare for life on the outside.
"I mix with the older population a lot," he says. "I seem to be mature for my age, so I hang out with the mature group, you know, people who are positively influencing me."
GOALS FOR THE FUTURE
And there's someone waiting for Pedro on the other side of the prison's walls. Someone he doesn't want to fail.
"When I get released, I want to be a good father to my daughter," he says. "I've got some goals. I haven't really been there for her in life, so I want to help raise her and just become a better person."
Pedro hopes he can find a good job to support his family. He believes his chances of becoming successful after prison are high, but he's committed to improving himself as much as he can every day.
"Never settle for less," he says.
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