Daniel Ramos grew up in a challenging emotional and financial situation. He had low self esteem, and there were a lot of issues with anger and alcohol in his household. To gain acceptance, and more security financially, he joined a gang at a young age. By age 18, he had already been sentenced to go to prison in Lansing, KS
When he first got to prison, Daniel continued on the wrong track. He joined a prison gang, bottled up the emotional issues from his childhood, and tried to become what he calls the “ultimate gang member.”
The turning point for Daniel came when his mother got sick with cancer. Daniel asked his mother what her dreams were for the future, and his mother responded that her biggest dream was for Daniel to come home one day from prison. He promised his mother that he would work to return to society one day. Tragically, his mother passed away just a week later, but Daniel still resolved to reform himself and get out of prison.
Daniel joined ROFW shortly after that. ROFW helped him see that he could use the leadership skills he had learned as a gang member in a more positive way in the workplace. The mentorship program, meetings, and Blue Book Curriculum also helped him work through the emotional issues he had from childhood. The coping and job skills he learned helped him on the path to re-entering society.
On the day Daniel got out of prison, he was enthusiastically greeted by his sister, who brought their mother’s ashes. Though she was no longer living, his mother still got to be present when her son re-entered society.
Now, Daniel is helping prisoners re-enter society by volunteering his time with ROFW. He says that the key to reform, for himself and others, is understanding “why we are the way we are, so we can heal.”