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Article 3 (Feb 2020): The Man Who Went from Prison to CEO: The Inspiring Story of Roy Castro
February 27, 2020It's a freezing January, and Roy Castro is hosing down ice cream trucks. It can't be pleasant, but it was actually something of a miracle.
Just a year before in 2002, Castro walked out of prison. He was 27 years old and had been in and out of prison for 15 years. He vowed not to go back to drug dealing. That was harder than he thought. Living with his aunt, he spent a year looking for a job. Fifty interviews later, a felon like Castro figured he was never going to get a job so one day he decided to hook up with his old drug connections.
That very day, a neighbor told him about STRIVE, a program that they said could help him get a job. He reluctantly showed up and his life began to change.
STRIVE's tough love speakers hit the audience hard on the ideas and behaviors that kept them out of the mainstream. The approach worked for Castro. The program helped attendees get a job, but more importantly taught them to keep a job. He learned how to dress and be on time. He learned humility, teamwork and how to work in an organization.
STRIVE got him his first job and he hosed down those ice cream trucks for years while he planned how to move up. It took 10 years to climb the ranks, but he did. He followed his plan of saying yes to challenge. He took advantage of small opportunities to make them big.
By 2012 he owned a $3 million ice cream delivery business, but didn't know how to grow or even keep his business or anything about taxes and finance.
Once again he called on STRIVE. On Thanksgiving eve, he sent an email to Goldman Sachs executive Dina Powell McCormick, whose card he had carried around for six years. It just so happened McCormick was in her office that late hour before the holiday. She remembered him. She immediately emailed him and pulled strings to get him a place in the company's Ten Thousand Small Businesses educational program.
The next year Castro graduated number one in the class. Legendary investor Warren Buffet handed him his diploma.
Using the knowledge he gained, he grew his business to $10 million a year. His is an extraordinary life. At age 11 he was homeless living with his drug addicted mother, went to prison at 16 and becoming a man who made his way while overcoming all obstacles.
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