Lester Young is a native of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. At the age of 19, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole until 20 years had been served. Entering prison without a proper education was Mr. Young's biggest struggle. With the support of family and friends, he was able to obtain his G.E.D. and then later enroll in a business management correspondence course as a student at Ashworth College.
Mr. Young began garnering attention from prison chaplains, correctional officers, and wardens for the interest he expressed not only in educating himself but in encouraging others to educate themselves as well. With permission from the warden, Mr. Young began meeting with one of the chaplains to create templates, course outlines, programs, and classes to instruct and mentor those incarcerated along with him. Within the walls of prison is where the idea of the Path2Redemption was born. Mr. Young vowed that once he was paroled, he would continue his teachings to motivate others to continue on their own path to redemption.
One year after his release from prison, he started Path2Redemption, a nonprofit organization that hosts workshops for at-risk youth and formerly incarcerated individuals that introduces them to ways they can acquire the tools, resources, basic necessities, and beyond needed to successfully acclimate into society. As a national movement and capacity building specialist, he also includes topics related to advocacy and organizing in his trainings for youth and formerly incarcerated individuals.
Mr. Young also speaks and trains human resources staff on the benefits of hiring formerly incarcerated individuals. He serves as "the voice" for those that cannot speak for themselves. Mr. Young’s lived experience gives those that have not spent time in prison a different perspective as it relates to teaching and training.