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Richard LeCount
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My Story: Richard LeCount

I was abandoned by my mother, and my father was killed when I was one. My grandparents raised me. My problems started early; I was expelled in the 4th grade, a pattern that continued. In high school, I started using marijuana and harder drugs. I was in and out of juvenile centers and jails for years.

I hung out with the wrong crowd, was fired from every job and had no concern for my family. I was a career criminal. At 22, I met a meth cook who taught me everything he knew. We traveled together until we had a falling out over a large amount of methamphetamine. I was shot at from a balcony. The bullet missed my head and hit my shoe. I escaped with my life but went on with my lifestyle.

At 25, I was sent to a boot camp for ten months. When I got out, I went back to my lifestyle. I was arrested again. There was no shortcut this time. I was given a 30 year sentence, and was looking at years.

When I got out of prison, I didn’t want to go back to my old life. My family got me enrolled at Goodwill Industries of Michiana. My first day on the job, I put together boxes. The next day, my boss informed me that I set a record for the most done. I quickly gained the respect of my supervisors. I asked for a more challenging job and was put in the computer department. In a short amount of time I reorganized the area, and they were impressed.

After a couple of months of being in the program, I applied for a drive-thru job in the Niles store. I was denied at first, but kept inquiring, and was eventually hired. At first it was difficult. My boss was hard on me, but it was my fault. Finally, I learned to control my mouth. My boss, “the tyrant,” actually became one of my closest friends.

Then, the industrial services coordinator position became available. After what I think was the only good interview I have ever done, I was given the job. My ideas and opinions are respected, and I work for my heroes! I could not be happier at the progress I have made with my life in the two years I have been out of prison.

I have now been sober for seven years. When I was released from parole, my parole officer shook my hand and told me I did a great job. I have made amends with my family, and we are close. I am proof that you can rebuild a severely damaged life.

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  • Johanna
    February 6th, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Good job. I am very pleased to hear such a wonderful story. And hope that you keep up a good lifestyle for yourself and every who loves. :)

    • Susie
      February 13th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      So proud of you and I wish the rest of society would take a hint from the goodwill program. Addiction and breaking the law go hand-in-hand and too many people that never had an addiction problem think people like us should be hidden away in the basement. Similar to society’s reaction to mental illness in the 1940s. A recovering addict myself, I feel sorry the those millions of people that have no peripheral vision; everything is either black or white.

  • Terri
    February 6th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    What a wonderful end to your story. You are a perfect example of teaching an old dog new tricks. It CAN be done! Keep up the great work!!

  • Karrie
    February 6th, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Your story will give others the hope they need to get on the right path in life. Thank you for sharing and may God bless you!

  • Laura Maxwell
    February 6th, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Every word is true. I know this because I am Richard’s aunt and we are very proud of him!

  • Elizabeth Sterman
    February 7th, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    My husband works in the jail as a supervisor and really cares about helping people change their destructive lifestyle. I will share this story with him. I hope Richard helps others that were in his situation. I am so happy to support Goodwill’s mission to help people like him. I am so happy to read stories like that. I believe everyone deserves a chance. Never give up Richard…past performance does NOT determine future success. I’m very impressed with you….I know change is hard!

  • Sipan
    February 7th, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Good luck to you Richard with the new lifestyle.
    Keep the good work up.

  • Monique
    February 8th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Excellent job Richard. Stay on the positive path. Will keep you in my prayers.

  • Rick
    February 8th, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Richard’s story is nothing short of inspirational. Thank you for sharing!

    • Richard LeCount
      February 10th, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      I just wanted to say thanks to you all for your support. Goodwill has done more for me than give me a job; they have given me life. Thank you to Mary Beth, Jean Dawmin, Ray Garbaciak, Latonya Gaines, Rhonda Tribble, Kim Malaciki, Sandy Eich, Deb Coble, Ron Webb, Larry Neff, Norma LeCount, Dan LeCount, Amy LeCount, Laura LeCount, Danielle Hembree,Kevin Hembree, Sarah Haviland, Gary Maxwell and my amazing girlfriend Jamie Winn. I have had so much support through all of this! It is the key to recovery. I love all of you very much!

  • Monique
    February 16th, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    You rock my brother! I am inspired by your story. My boyfriend fights alcoholism and brain damage from a car accident everyday. Goodwill rocks!
    I will keep the faith because of you! There is Hope! His name is Richard! Keep the Faith!

  • Gary Fitch
    February 21st, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Excellent! Keep up the good work.

  • Debby
    April 28th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I’m on this site looking for help for my 24 yr old son who has a crimanal record from something he did at 17yrs old and he is getting depressessed that no one will hire him because of it he also has been in and out of prison since he did his 2 yrs.for drugs and does not even try to find employment reading your story Richard has givin me hope for my son and I’m very proud of You !!! And your family and friends for being there for you and the staff at goodwill!!Great work!As a mother my heart truely go’s out to you !

  • Chris
    September 10th, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Congratulations, Richard! May God continue to bless you. May you help and inspire others all your days on earth. I am so proud of you! Your story brought me to tears. GO RICHARD! Wow. Wow. I am speechless.

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