COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A convicted armed robber from Columbus has a second chance to start over and he wants to do so by helping others stay out of trouble.
We spoke with the man Wednesday about how he plans to change the lives of others in the community.
Just released from prison on Monday, Sky Smith says changing his life for the better, such as getting a job, staying out of trouble and helping others to do the same is his way for making up for time already lost while he was locked up.
Smith is holding his family tighter, ready for a new beginning after 18 years and five months in prison.
"It all started with one bad night, running with a crowd," said Smith.
Now age 37, Smith went to prison at 18 years old convicted of nine counts of armed robberies of various places in Columbus and Cusseta.
"When you young and in the streets, you just in the streets. You don't really value the things that means the most," said Smith.
Learning from his mistakes, Smith wants to help change the lives of others of all ages in neighborhoods where he's lived, preventing them from going down the wrong path.
"Talking to people, going to the groups and go to most of these projects. Cause that's where I grew up in Farley homes. You got to help encourage them now," said Smith.
While in prison, Smith received his GED and several other certificates. He says going to prison was a wake-up call to get his life together.
"Not sleeping many nights. A feeling you shouldn't even want," added Smith.
Sitting behind bars, Smith also lost his best friend, David Scott in a September 2013 murder, giving him another reason to encourage those in trouble to take a better routes.
His younger brother Latori Williams decided to live a different life instead of turning to the streets.
"I don't have a choice but to help him. Whatever he's trying to positive, I'm with him," said Williams.
Smith says his backbone was his family to help get him through the prison term.