The Power of Education:
When I started this term a little over a year ago, I was literally lost and not so hopeful. I was then given a book written by a person named Michael Santos. I remember reading the title, glancing at it and it saying something about “My 45 year sentence.” I was thinking what could this guy be writing about that could so interesting or have to say that could help me. As I started glancing through briefly reading parts of it, the next thing I remember I had embedded myself on my bed reading over the next couple of days a book that transformed my way of thinking and how I would continue to approach and do this time. Michael’s book made things clear and easy for me to understand. It set a standard for me and what I wanted to achieve within this time. Knowing what Michael had gone through and thinking that he was able to do it, made me look at my much smaller amount of time, look easy. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing easy about doing one day or twenty years in here.
My point to all of this introduction is that by being open-minded to change and having a willingness to change things can happen. A person can actually transform and begin a metamorphosis which can bare great things. Having a clear path and understanding of what one can achieve – it can be done.
I believe that all of this of course has to do with the individual and a willingness to want to change but to also learn, meaning to change oneself by opening up and wanting to learn new things. Michael Santos has talked about how he educated himself which opened the door for so many new possibilities. I agree with that 100%! I believe that educating is so important, actually not important – vital to a person’s success! In prison there is so much ignorance, because I believe of the lack of education that a lot of these guys don’t have. Many in here never experienced the cultural or interpersonal communication skills to experience what life is really like. Another reason that learning and educating is so important. Learning opens the door not only for new opportunities but it offers a different way to see and experience life.
I was fortunate to go to college when I was younger but since I have been in here I have continued to expand on my knowledge by attending the local community college and will start attending a 4-year University in January 24. I also just completed the pest management program from Purdue University.
My point is that a person can make the decision to do and take the opportunity to educate themselves while they are in here. There are ample amounts of recourses as well as local community colleges and four year University’s that offer programs to the inmate’s in these prisons.
Like myself, Michael Santos and so many other’s that have taken advantage of earning degrees in here, just do it! I encourage others to reach deep down inside and commit to making a positive change and accomplish something that can never be taken away from them – intelligence and a college degree!