A former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, has shared a heartwarming story of a man he granted a pardon in 2016.
Obama said, reviewing requests for clemency from people who were incarcerated was a task he never took lightly because such a decision could change the course of someone’s life.
The former US President shared the story of how he granted amnesty to John Gargano in 2016 and graduated from New York University with an impressive 3.9 GPA and a Bachelor of Science in Leadership and Management Studies in May 2021.
Obama revealed that John grew up on a small vegetable farm in New Jersey and later moved to Philadelphia after high school and began working various jobs to make ends meet.
Meanwhile, Obama said Gargano started using and selling drugs and was ultimately arrested and sentenced to 30 years in prison, despite being a non-violent, first-time offender.
For the first three years, he was incarcerated, John didn’t want to talk to anyone. But he eventually vowed that he “would refuse to allow his sentence to break him” and turned to education to “inspire and restore his hope for the future.”
He started taking classes through the Ohio University College Program for the Incarcerated and helped others prepare for their GED.
The former President explained that the former inmate had in 2017 enrolled at Hostos Community College and an Associate’s degree in Business Management.
Also, Barack Obama said Gargano transferred to NYU on a scholarship where he participated in the Leadership Fellows program and worked as a manager at a restaurant.
The two terms President disclosed that the former inmate works as a general manager at one of Chef Tom Colicchio’s restaurants in New York City and advocates for prison reform. According to Obama, Gargano’s life is a testament to the power of a second chance.