NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Greeted with a welcome sign and a wreath, Franchesca Taylor was excited to show off her new apartment.

“It made me feel happy that I could have something in my name, something that motivates me. It just encourages me a lot. I’m very excited,” Taylor said.

This was a huge accomplishment for Taylor because just a few years ago she was in prison for theft, fraud and forgery.

“I never thought I’d become this person that I am today,” she said.

When KARK met Taylor in March, she was gaining her freedom and still bonded by an ankle monitor and living at the Arkansas Community Correction’s Hope Rises Reentry Facility. Fastforward four months later and she was ankle monitor free and living on her own.

“They [ACC] gave me a chance to come to the reentry facility to start over, do better with myself,” Taylor said.

With the help of the Hope Rises staff and her mentor Mary Waldo, Taylor learned about the value of life.

“Miss Mary is awesome, my mentor. She’s always texting me asking me if I’m okay, do I need anything,” she said.

She now hoped her story would encourage others who have walked in the path she once took.

“To everybody that’s out there going through something, don’t give up,” Taylor said. “Stay focused and work the program. If you don’t work the program, it’s not going to turn out how you want it to turn out.”

As a Hope Rises graduate, she was more determined now than ever to continue being a positive, productive member of society.