New York

Once a killer, now a CEO: Ex-con works to turn youths around

  • In this Nov. 22, 2016, photo John Valverde, right, speaks during a meeting while seated next to Chiffawn Johnson, left, a talent acquisition manager and human resources generalist at YouthBuild USA, Inc., in Somerville, Mass. In January of 2017 Valverde is to take over as CEO of the organization that helps young, low-income inner-city dropouts reclaim their lives. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    In this Nov. 22, 2016, photo John Valverde, right, speaks during a meeting while seated next to Chiffawn Johnson, left, a talent acquisition manager and human resources generalist at YouthBuild USA, Inc., in Somerville, Mass. In January of 2017 Valverde is to take over as CEO of the organization that helps young, low-income inner-city dropouts reclaim their lives. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Nov. 22, 2016 photo John Valverde stands for a portrait at YouthBuild USA, Inc., in Somerville, Mass. In January of 2017 Valverde is to take over as CEO of YouthBuild USA, Inc., an international organization that helps young, low-income inner-city dropouts reclaim their lives. Valverde isn't your typical corporate executive: He served 16 years in prison for fatally shooting his girlfriend's rapist at point-blank range. While in prison, he did his best to redeem the time, earning two college degrees, teaching fellow inmates how to read and write, and working as an HIV/AIDS counselor. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    In this Nov. 22, 2016 photo John Valverde stands for a portrait at YouthBuild USA, Inc., in Somerville, Mass. In January of 2017 Valverde is to take over as CEO of YouthBuild USA, Inc., an international organization that helps young, low-income inner-city dropouts reclaim their lives. Valverde isn't your typical corporate executive: He served 16 years in prison for fatally shooting his girlfriend's rapist at point-blank range. While in prison, he did his best to redeem the time, earning two college degrees, teaching fellow inmates how to read and write, and working as an HIV/AIDS counselor. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 photo John Valverde, right, speaks during a meeting while seated next to Chiffawn Johnson, left, a talent acquisition manager and human resources generalist at YouthBuild USA, Inc., in Somerville, Mass. In January of 2017 Valverde is to take over as CEO of the organization that helps young, low-income inner-city dropouts reclaim their lives. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    In this Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 photo John Valverde, right, speaks during a meeting while seated next to Chiffawn Johnson, left, a talent acquisition manager and human resources generalist at YouthBuild USA, Inc., in Somerville, Mass. In January of 2017 Valverde is to take over as CEO of the organization that helps young, low-income inner-city dropouts reclaim their lives. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)  (The Associated Press)

The new leader of YouthBuild USA isn't your typical CEO.

John Valverde spent 16 years in prison for killing a man accused of raping his girlfriend.

While in prison, Valverde earned two college degrees, taught fellow inmates to read and write, and worked as an HIV/AIDS counselor.

Next week, he'll take over as chief executive officer of YouthBuild, a Somerville, Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization offering programs aimed at helping young, low-income dropouts get the skills they need to land jobs and become community leaders.

Valverde said he thinks it's important for him to be honest about his past with the young people he's trying to help. One in three has a criminal record.