In the early 2000’s, Chad Latham was an entrepreneur running his own technology company working as a Computer Technician serving local businesses in Tacoma, WA. He had been into computers since the 3rd grade and was following his passion helping companies with their technology challenges. That was his day job. At night, he was growing and selling marijuana. Living a double life as he puts it.
One night he was caught moving over 2000 marijuana plants and growing equipment, and was arrested. His case was handed over to the DEA. He took a plea deal to serve 15 years in federal prison in order to avoid a potential life sentence if his case was put before a judge. He left behind his wife and 9 year old son.
“I realized that this was an entirely different stage of my life from this day forward. That nothing would ever be the same again.” – Chad Latham
Chad was horrified at the thought of wasting his time doing nothing behind bars so he focused on education and poured himself into learning everything he could about computers, computer programming and web development. In December 2015, it was announced that President Obama had commuted 97 sentences of people in prison and Chad’s was one of them. After serving 10 years, Chad was released.
2 weeks after he was free, he walked into a web development immersion program at Galvanize in Seattle Washington and spent the next 6 months expanding his computer programing skills and learning to be a specialized Web Developer.
He completed the program and when we recorded this conversation, Chad had already received an offer from a major technology company and was starting his new role and the next chapter of his life a few days later.
This is an incredible story of someone that chose to make the best of a horrible situation and has redefined his life through persistence and education.