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To say the least, Victor Woods’ life had taken a turn for the worse at an early age, leaving him with some hard questions and answers about where he would eventually end up.
On Tuesday, he ended up at Franklin County High School, telling how he emerged from a criminally inflicted beginning to become a nationally acclaimed motivational speaker with a goal to sway at risk youths from taking the detrimental path that he had once traveled.
Woods said being raised in an upper-middle class home never assured he would become an excellent citizen.
He simply chose a life of crime.
By the age of 16, Woods had masterminded intricate crimes.
He stated in the assembly that there were a number of factors that contributed to his troubled youth, including fitting in as a black male in an all white school and neighborhood.
Woods, during his childhood, rebelled against authority. As a teen a task force of 60 detectives detained him after committing armed robbery.
Instead of learning from his mistakes when sent to a juvenile detention center before even legal age, Woods stated, “I learned about crime and absorbed it like a sponge.”
Upon his discharge from juvenile detention, Woods affirmed that he organized a $40 million credit card scheme that operated productively for years, until partners exposed his system for their own reduced sentences, which put Woods in maximum-security federal prison where he spent the next six years of his life.
“I was very rebellious in prison and went into the hole [solitary confinement] several times,” he said. “I stayed in the hole for nine months and got sick and developed an infection in my eye and almost went blind.
“It was there that I got my internal vision and had a personal epiphany and knew that God had a better plan for my life.”
Subsequently, he began to give uplifting speeches to inmates cheering them not to succumb to the vicious cycle that entraps so many of the nation’s young men and women.
Woods set himself on a course to change his life and make a positive lasting contribution to society.
His advice to the audience was simply put in one powerful sentence.
“If you do not have a plan, you plan to fail,” he said, seemingly catching most of the crowd’s attention.