During his stretch of almost 10 consecutive years in United States prisons, David Andrade spent more than half of his days in the dark. Frequent punishment for crimes Andrade committed behind bars included 24-hour lockdowns. Infractions included helping to ignite a prison riot, beating up fellow inmates and punching a correctional officer.
He is now one of hundreds of former gang members finding his place in the sun through the solar industry. But if you trace Andrade’s beginnings, there wasn’t always much light.
“I had a lot of hate,” says the 32-year-old.
Hate fueled by a father who left him at age 2, and from a mother he describes as an alcoholic, a drug addict and a gang member.
At the age of 13, he found comfort and family in a violent street gang in East Los Angeles. By 15, he says he was a full-blown alcoholic. Three years later, his …