Keith Taylor is an inmate at Waiawa Correctional Facility. He has less than two years left on a sentence for negligent homicide. He says he's turned his life around inside the prison.
"There were a lot of situations in my life prior to recovery that I thought were impossible to do sober" he said to a room full of people.
He credits Toastmasters International with giving him the tools to do so. Toastmasters is a nonprofit organization that teaches communication, leadership and organizational methods for people looking to improve their professional skills.
That includes inmates. Allan Edinger of Toastmasters says the program has seen incredible success with inmates. He said that of all the inmates who enrolled while incarcerated and stayed enrolled once freed, none have gone back to prison.
Inmate Mark Coburn is hoping to become part of that. "The thing that I was doing was not manifesting my potential, and I had better reevaluate things that I found important, and start habituating things that would bring good results into my life" he said.
Coburn wants to give back to the community once he is out.
"I'd like to get my CSAC certification and help other addicts. I'm an alcoholic in recovery".
Taylor wants to give back to his son by being a better father. He says he'll use the Toastmaster techniques to explain how and why he was incarcerated.
"Just give him the outright truth, and let him formulate an opinion on that. What I was before is not what I am now".