After years of trouble on the streets, everything
came to a head for Terran Tillman in 2010 when a drug charge landed him a lengthy prison sentence. Born in New Orleans, Terran spent time growing up in Atlanta, where his mother
moved to attend college; and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where his grandmother lived. “I sold drugs and drove my grandmother crazy,” he says. “I had an ego; I thought I was all that.” The hard living caught up with him while driving through Alabama en route to see a Mississippi woman he had fallen for.
He was stopped and caught with seven pounds of marijuana. The ensuing prison sentence marked what he calls “the worst time of my life, and the best thing that happened to me.” He says he found a relationship with God while in prison, and he started to mature. He wrote a letter to the parole board, admitting his mistakes and asking for leniency. His sentence was first cut in half, then waived altogether. “I prayed and prayed, and God brought me out,” he says.
He was paroled in December 2014 after serving less than five years. That time taught him something and shortly after being released, he moved in with his mother in Atlanta and started to get his life back together.
Step 1: apply for and go through Westside Works’ Driver Ready program and earn a Class B CDL license from Daly’s Truck Driving School in Buford.
Step 2: interview for a job.
When the day came to interview for a job with Argos Terran said “I was nervous, and I just broke down. I said, ‘Look, this is what it is. I’ve done wrong, I’ve made mistakes.’ I just told them the real, uncut story. And they gave me a chance.”
Step 3: change the outside to reflect the inside. Terran underwent a dramatic physical change, losing 80 pounds over a four-month period. “I was 330 pounds when I took the physical,” he says. “I started counting calories and doing a lot of cardio.”
Step 4: find a steady place to stay. For the first year in Atlanta, Terran was sleeping on the floor. A year later, he has his own apartment and is hoping to buy a house next year.
Step 5: find happiness. “Everything is good,” he adds with a satisfied smile. “Everything is new. It’s a new beginning.”