Transformation Stories

Victor Key: A Chance at Happiness


When I first started working at Homeboy Industries 11 months ago, I didn't really know what to expect. I've known about Father G and Homeboy Industries since it began in 1988 as a job training program out of Dolores Mission called “Jobs for a Future.” I paroled from the California Youth Authority the following year in 1989 after serving five years.

Because of my mother’s urging, I went to Dolores Mission to see Father G. But in no-way whatsoever did I want to go and redirect my life, and leave my gang life style behind me. I loved my neighborhood and homeboys too much to do that. I only wish I knew the things I know now, back then.

So the cycle of going back to prison never stopped for me. I can honestly say it took me 25 years to finally come to Homeboy Industries and tell Father G, “I’m ready for a change in the way I've been living my life. I did a lot of soul searching this last prison term I did.” I feel God has given me not only another chance at freedom, but also a chance at happiness.

You see, since I arrived here to Homeboy Industries, my life has changed in many ways. My way of thinking, my way of acting towards others. I feel like I’ve had a heart transplant here. No longer do I have that heart that was filled with so much hate, anger and violence inside of me. It’s a heart that knows how to feel emotions, and a heart that not only knows how to receive love, but also to give love.

I’m very proud of the man I am today. A loving, loyal, and supportive husband. A caring and devoted father to my baby girl “Lil’ Nikey.” I have the family I always dreamed of in my prison cell. I’m now living my dream of having my own little family.

I’m living proof that programs like Homeboy Industries do work, and that people like me can change with the right guidance and support. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all of you for supporting Tattoos on the Heart, and for helping Father G’s Dream become a reality.

Victor Key recently earned his GED with help from Homeboy Industries’ tutoring program. He received an award at the daily morning meeting to recognize his achievement, which he dedicated to his mother and daughter, who were on hand to celebrate.


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