Dream Corps

Nora Yahya

At the age of 16, she was forced to set out on her own as an emancipated minor. She traveled to Washington D.C. in hopes of eventually attending Howard University but continued to make poor choices by associating with older men. She soon found herself involved with a man who sold drugs. In 1999, Nora was federally indicted along with several other co-conspirators for her role in a drug-dealing operation that sold Marijuana. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Just two years after she was released from federal prison, Nora found herself again indicted. She was facing a life sentence – because of her prior record and the quantities of drugs sold. However, because of the work of a pro bono attorney – who saw something in Nora that was worthy of a second chance – he fought to bring down her sentence to a plea deal of 15.5 years for her role selling Crack and Powder Cocaine. Norah was released through the crack/cocaine provision in the First Step Act and did an interview with CBS News to discuss the importance of her release and the landmark bill.