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Man Turns His Life Around with the Help of The City of Albuquerque

Employee of the Week: Sounthone Sanouvang

November 15, 2013


Albuquerque- Today Mayor Richard J. Berry honored a man who came from a bad situation and excelled within the City of Albuquerque’s Solid Waste Management Department. Sounthrone Sanouvang went from delinquent criminal to model employee when he took control of his life and his actions.

Six years ago Sanouvang’s life was spiraling out of control; hanging out with the wrong crowd, hooked on drugs, and freely vandalizing much of the city. Once he was arrested it was determined that he racked up a bill with over $250,000 in vandalism damages all across the city. Sanouvang was given the choice to be sent to jail for 5 years or pay off his debt working for Clean Cities doing community service to remove graffiti in Albuquerque. He decided to swallow his pride and accept the offer of working off his debt; a decision that changed his life forever.

After 300 hours of community service Sanouvang paid his debt to the city and was hired as a temporary worker with Clean Cities. Sanouvang completely cleaned up his act, becoming a model employee, receiving much praise for his work ethic from his supervisors. After three years as temporary worker Sanouvang was hired as a city employee where he has risen through the ranks. Today he is a crew leader for Clean Cities. He also met his wife at Clean Cities; together they have a happy, healthy family. Sanouvang now takes time to go to high schools around the city to speak about his experience. He talks about the importance of hanging out with the right kind of crowd and not doing drugs. Sanouvang’s motto is "to reach just one kid". To him, if he can make the difference in just one life that will be enough.


Sounthone Sanouvang is a remarkable individual and employee. He took complete advantage of an opportunity presented to him and with hard work and a positive attitude he has made himself into a great role model for all those who may have had a rocky start with life.