WNEM TV 5

He wants to get his story out there so that other kids don't lead themselves a path of crime.

Richard Gamarra, who's 28-years-old, just earned his Masters Degree from Columbia University in NYC. Here's the kicker - he spent seven years in prison, two of those in solitary confinement, for assault and weapons convictions. He's a former gang member.

During his time behind bars, he earned his undergraduate degree. But before that, he was already a straight A student in high school. For him, the biggest turning point was when he couldn't touch his daughter from behind the glass.

His new job will be working on policy at Rikers Island in New York. He says that he wants to examine how incarceration affects our communities.

Good for you, Richard! Setting a GREAT example for kids, and for your daughter.