Dion’s Story

The Journey from “Unhirable” Former Inmate to Greyston Bakery Supervisor

Before coming to Greyston, I had been incarcerated for four years upstate. I started selling drugs when I was 14 to bring money in to support my family. Twenty years later I had been in and out of jail too many times. I didn’t like who I was. I wanted to change, but I had no idea where to go or how to start. When I got out of jail, I applied for jobs and went on interviews every other day. No one would hire me when they saw my rap sheet. I started to feel that the streets were all there was for me. I had no hope for a legal life.

Greyston Bakery was just down the street. A friend reminded me about its Open Hiring process. I put my name on the list, and one day I got a call asking me if I wanted to work. My first day I was so excited. I saw people there I knew, and they all encouraged me because we’d all been through the same things.

I can’t explain all that Greyston has done for me. Without Greyston, I’d still be on the streets — likely dead or in jail. When I had my daughter, I wanted to save for her future. One of the best things I learned at Greyston was how to take a small amount of money from each paycheck and put it in a special bank account for her through direct deposit. In the past, I had never even thought about having a family because I was in no position to with being in and out of jail. Now I am supporting a family. To me, it’s not all about the money; it’s about being a man and doing the right thing.

It’s been an amazing journey. I went from apprentice to lead operator to lead operator in research and development. Recently, I just got promoted to supervisor training. I’m proof that if you’re willing to change your life, Greyston can help make it happen.