Yolanda MoralesIn April 2003, when her five-year sentence for drug conspiracy ended, Yolanda Morales came straight to The Fortune Society.
While still in prison, she
requested and received a letter of Reasonable Assurance (RA) from Fortune.RA letters offer to provide re-entry services to prisoners who come to Fortune after they are released and parole officers see them as a sign that a releasee is making an effort to link to services that will help them transition back to their communities.In the letter, Yolanda
read about all the services Fortune provided and wanted to see if it was real.To her
found that the letter was true. She
immediately enrolled in Fortune's Career Development program.After completing the workshop she began volunteering in Fortune's Alternatives to Incarceration program and working as a telemarketer at another company.She
desperately wanted to get back into counseling and she
wanted to work at Fortune.Before her life went off track, she had been a counselor.She had earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Long Island University and had taken classes towards a Masters degree at Columbia University.
After eight months she
secured a counselor's position at Fortune.Four months later, she
was promoted to supervise counselors in a new pre-treatment program.Now Yolanda helps to prepare former prisoners for substance abuse treatment, and she
mentors and supervises other counselors doing similar work.Her
talent and hard work have made Fortune's new pre-treatment program a success.
is also taking part in a number of important projects outside of Fortune.She
helped plan and produce "A Summit for Formerly Incarcerated Women," where she
spoke about Women in Transition.Yolanda
is also a New York State Delegate for Dress for Success
, a group that empowers and trains people to find and keep employment.She
was recently honored for her
work at a Dress for Success
requested "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Ms. Labelle, true to her word, performed a beautiful rendition.
...Yolanda is excited by her work at The Fortune Society and her other interests.
Seeing clients grow inspires her
to continue her
own journey.She is also determined to go back and complete her Masters in Social Work degree that she started all those years ago.