We Celebrate James and Corretta - A Wedding Story

Oliver

Oliver "Prince" Dillard
Location: Chicago

Oliver "Prince" Dillard grew up in a rough neighborhood. He spent his youth in the projects, quickly became involved in gangs, and found himself dealing drugs to make ends meet. It was a lifestyle that led to his arrest -- and a 10-year prison sentence -- on a narcotics charge.

Even after his release, Dillard continued to struggle with drugs. However, he eventually found Above and Beyond through his church. A discovery, he says that's changed his life for the better.

"The program does work," Dillard says. "Above and Beyond has the right name, it has the right symbol -- the tree, it represents oxygen and growth and it provides air and life for the people who come in here."

Since Dillard's has come to Above and Beyond, he's learned how to stay sober, manage stress, and he's even learned how to play the tambourine. Although Dillard has already graduated from the program, he continues to return to Above & Beyond to give back and help others.

"I was inspired by Herman Russell, one of my mentors and role models here," says Dillard. "He made a huge difference for me; he came from a similar situation and changed his life for the better, and I want to be like that. I want to inspire others and have a positive impact on the lives of others."

For Dillard, the staff, clients, and members of Above and Beyond are like family. While each individual at Above and Beyond might come from a different background, Dillard believes that they're all cut from the same cloth.

"They're beautiful and amazing people and they all take their time to give back to those less fortunate -- it really is a great group."