Who am I ? Hi, I am Stephanie,
I am a student in college, non-traditional and a senior in the Professional Sales Program at a four year university. The Amends Project has started as my senior project for my program of study in school, but I have found this blogging may be a lifelong mission. Why? Because it is doing good in the world. I want to be part of the greater good. What actions am I doing with my life to lift others and care for the less fortunate? What am I doing to educate others? This blog is one of many.
Transparency is helpful and allows us to grow and learn. Learning what the underlying issues are help us avoid mistakes. If someone told me they got hit by a car because they did not look both ways before crossing a street, I would learn from their mistakes. Crime is a hot topic these days, but we only hear what the media wants us to know. I want to hear from the source of the wrongdoer. I want to hear what the inmate has to say sorry about. What growth have they had? I want to learn what inmates are doing to reform, learn, grow, and be rehabilitated. What changes have they embraced and applied to their lives? What lesson was learned. I do not want to know the crime, but more so what led them to it?
Let me tell you how I ended up down this rabbit hole. I have been a sister to a younger brother that is incarcerated. He has been locked away since the early 90's as a 16 year old teenager. He has been locked up for 28 years. That is a long time to keep a youth in custody. Since the internet has become central to our everyday life, I have found it easier to communicate with him. I have found regular, consistent, encouraging communication has made him grow and think differently. I have witnessed my brother become an amazing person who seeks education and learning. He shares his classes and lessons with me and talks with an educated mindset; he is thoughtful and insightful. He gives me advice from his group learnings that help me handle my issues, he may tell me to "breathe, or count to ten, or think first" My brother has become wise. He has not always been so motivated. Something changed. He was given hope. With hope, he reached out and has blossomed into a compassionate and caring person.
So, to share an inmates growth and change with others, I thought I would turn my senior project into a blog. I have asked three incarcerated individuals (Richard, Kevin, and Jose) to help me collaborate, collect, and begin this project. I am creating a way for a person (like my brother) to have a public social media presence to share their amends stories, letters of remorse, inmate programs, and the art they have created. I have asked the persons involved to keep the crime details out of our conversations, no victims are to be mentioned by name, and I will not publish any pseudonym. I want honesty and apologies to be seen and heard. These are meant to bring awareness and insight to what an inmate feels and how they are
managing positive growth from within the department of corrections and rehabilitation system.
No financial support is offered or give to inmates, I am a starving student and fund this whole project on my own. I offer no legal advice or help. I am not offering any financial or legal support. I am doing this blog as a way to demonstrate my communication skills and earn a degree. It is my hope that someday I can have my brother home, but if nothing else, I know his apologies and his living amends will be heard.