From Drug Dealer to Lawyer, This Inkster Man Changed His Life [VIDEO]
A Michigan man who was on a bad road has turned his life around thanks to a judge who gave him a chance and issued him a challenge.
A rough start for Ed Martell
At the age of 27, Edward Martell was busted for selling drugs in his hometown of Inkster.
"I fell victim to my environment, I guess I could say, and then it became a trend," he said. "I started hanging around with the wrong crowd, I got intertwined with the drug culture."
That was 16 years ago. Martell's life began to turn around when he appeared before Judge Bruce Morrow.
"He challenged me, and he said 'Mr. Martell, I dare you to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, instead of out here selling drugs,'" Martell tells Detroit's WJBK-TV in the video below.
Instead of throwing away the opportunity, Martell accepted the challenge and went back to school. Eventually, he graduated from Wayne Community college and earned a full-ride scholarship to law school at the University of Detroit-Mercy.
Ed Martell today
Earlier this month, Martell was sworn in by the same judge who issued the challenge.
"He's like so many of the other people that come in front of us," Judge Morrow said. "They are talented, they're brilliant, they have abilities and skills that, if you were not looking to make people's lives better and connect with them, you were only going to see the person and the offense that they're charged with."
Today, Martell is settling into his new job as a lawyer with the Perkins Law Group in downtown Detroit.