The Takeaway Features Cooke Scholar Angel Sanchez's Amazing Turnaround


“By the time I was 16, I was tried as an adult and I was on my way to the adult prison system in Florida with a 30-year sentence and a ninth grade education.” So begins Cooke Scholar Angel Sanchez’s story, featured today on Public Radio International’s The Takeaway.

Speaking with host John Hockenberry, Angel describes a pivotal moment after completing his GED in prison: “I got a job in the law library as a law clerk trainee …  I quickly learned that I had a passion for law and a knack for it. And so I think that became a turning point where I said to myself, ‘If I ever get out of prison, I want to go to college and I want to become an attorney.”

Once released, Angel enrolled in Valencia Community College, where an adviser recommended him to apply to for the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. At first skeptical of his own merits, Angel dedicated his sophomore year to finding opportunities to contribute to his community.

Angel is now a 33-year-old honors student at the University of Central Florida and hopes to continue his studies at an Ivy League law school.

Listen to the full interview below or on The Takeaway‘s website.