OK The White House has named Cherokee Nation citizen Daryl
Legg a "Champion of Change" for going from a three-time convicted
felon to someone who's helped positively change the lives of dozens.
Legg was sentenced to prison three times for drug possession,
but turned his life around and now runs a work re-entry program
helping other Natives overcome similar obstacles.
Legg, 43, of Sallisaw, is the Nation's director of vocational
programs, which includes a new program called "Coming Home." The
program helps former prisoners get back on their feet upon release,
including help with jobs and housing.
Since the program started in September, 53 of the 55 formerly
incarcerated participants have stayed out of prison, with the majority
maintaining steady jobs.
"I'm thankful I belong to a tribe that gives me the freedom
to do what I love and give back," Legg said. "The feeling of being
able to be trusted again is an awesome feeling, and I'm thankful
to the Cherokee Nation and the White House for this award. More
than anything, I'm glad to see the reentry issue getting the attention
On June 30, Legg was honored at the White House with 14 other
recipients. The "Champions of Change" award is given to ordinary
Americans doing extraordinary things in their communities. The White
House says it received more than 900 nominations for the category
Legg was honored in, which is re-entry and employment for the formerly
Legg has been a director of CN vocational programs since 2009.
It's the same program that years earlier offered him the opportunity
to learn employment skills after being sent to prison twice in Arkansas
and once in Oklahoma.
Legg eventually graduated from Northeastern State University
with a major in psychology in 2006 and worked his way up to a director
before starting "Coming Home."
"Daryl has helped the Cherokee Nation develop one of the most
progressive reintegration programs in Oklahoma and across Indian
Country. His humanity and commitment make him a deserving White
House Champion of Change honoree," Principal Chief Bill John Baker
said. "Like Daryl, I believe we can't just give up on people after
incarceration. We must open doors of opportunity for our people,
not keep them closed."
The "Coming Home" program is for citizens of federally recognized
Native American tribes. Applicants must contact the program within
six months of release to be considered for participation.
For more information on the program, call Legg at 918-453-5000,
ext. 3832 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the "Champions of Change" award, visit