Sunday, April 26, 2009
Tina Castro was 16 when she became hooked on methamphetamine. More than two decades later, the Grand Junction woman has turned her life around and is being heralded for her leadership and stellar work ethic.
Castro, 38, who served four years of a nine-year prison sentence on drug-related charges, was recognized recently with a prestigious award from her employer, Goodwill Industries.
With a felony on her record, Castro initially struggled to find work, but management at the secondhand store offered her a chance to prove herself.
Nearly two years later, Castro is enjoying the fruits of a promotion and the thrill of receiving the company’s 2008 Co-Independence Award, the first time the honor has been bestowed on an employee in Grand Junction.
“I couldn’t be in a better place,” Castro said, smiling and looking around the store where she works, 630 24 1/2 Road. “It took a lot of focusing to get here.”
Castro had been a drug addict for 18 years when she got into trouble with the law in her 30s.
Being sentenced to prison afforded her an opportunity to learn who she was, although the experience also hardened her.
Castro was stabbed in the arm by another inmate on her second day of being incarcerated; the scars still are visible when she lifts her shirt’s right sleeve.