Preston A. Dagons, Jr.
Program Coordinator, ARC Housing
Preston A. Dagons, Jr. is the Program Coordinator at ARC's Magnolia Housing Program. As a former Lifer who experienced many types of obstacles, Preston's passion grew as he became more involved with assisting others in thinking differently than what they were accustomed to thinking. Preston previously worked for Shields for Families as the lead Vocational Counselor within the Workforce Development field, assisting others with empowerment programs, case management, and job readiness, and creating curriculum specifically targeted for difficult to serve populations.
Preston did not experience a difficult background. His troubled lifestyle began when he was faced with a serious injury as he was pursuing his dream of becoming a professional athlete. Due to involvement with drugs, Preston ultimately spent three years in the Nevada Department of Corrections. While incarcerated, Preston was approached by an organization representing the Calgary Stampeders, a professional Canadian Football team. The organization was interested in representing him, offering him another opportunity to play football professionally. While Preston worked to get back in shape, over time he lost interest in his dream and became distracted. He committed another crime at the age of 23 and was sentenced to 7 Years to Life in prison. He served 22 years on that sentence.
From the very beginning of his incarceration, Preston knew in his heart that he should not spend the rest of his life in prison. Unlike during his first term, he focused on reading and began interviewing other Lifers on the parole review process which could give him a chance to return home to his family. At this time, he was a father of a beautiful daughter who he could not see or hug which motivated him to do what was necessary to make it home.
Preston accumulated numerous vocational trade certificates, including brick masonry, auto upholstery, optometry, and electrical work. He also became a self-taught sign language interpreter which led to a new position within the institution. Preston became an interpreter for the hearing-impaired in the prison's education and other departments. He also participated in a mentorship program and was one of three individuals elected as a senior mentor, completing a certification as an Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor specializing in behavior modification techniques. Recognizing that he set the example for other inmates motivated Preston to complete his AA degree in Education.
Since being granted parole in 2010, Preston enrolled as a student with the Hypnosis Motivation Institute and graduated as a Hypnotherapist. Preston went on to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and graduated in October of 2015. He is certified as an Anger Management and Domestic Violence facilitator and is currently enrolled in a Master’s Program in Psychology with a projected graduation date in October 2017.