As you prepare to graduate, what kind of legacy do you want to leave for the Prison University Project community?
The legacy I want to leave is this: graduation at any age can be possible, if only you apply yourself. Education is the key to a better understanding of life, and a responsibility to a larger community.
What has been your favorite school assignment, and why?
My favorite writing assignment was a poem that I wrote for my Creative Writing class. I learned that hurt and pain and disappointment can be expressed deeply in writing.
Beyond completing your AA Degree, what goals have you set for yourself?
Goals that I have set for myself: to continue to educate and learn about myself and my strengths in a deeper, meaningful way. I want to be a part of society as a whole. I want to give back because I’ve been given love and support from so many people, inside and outside of my biological family.
What do people most commonly misunderstand about the criminal justice system, and about incarcerated people? What do you wish people understood?
What most people that don’t have a family member who is incarcerated misunderstand is the fact that we do change for the better. Applying oneself brings about a change from within, and it creates a hope and love for life and our fellow man. The more opportunity an individual has to become educated in all areas of life, the more the early values and morals instilled in him from an early age come back to him.
Are you involved in any activities outside of the Prison University Project?
I am the Vice President of Alliance for CHANGE. This is very important to me because it has created hope and new goals, ethically, in my life. It’s been a driving force in my education.
Who are the people in your life who have helped you succeed?
I thank my daughter Shanikka for being with me and supporting me from day one of this heartache. I thank my Aunt Mozell and Laura for their contact and support. I thank my mother, Maenell, for strength and my Grandmother Ola for God and Jesus Christ being in my heart.