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Being raised by hard-working, law-abiding parents, my fondest memory was being taught that choices are decisions. I took that sage wisdom for granted and chose to be a materialistically callous workaholic and alcoholic whose irresponsible criminal lifestyle tragically ended a human life. I hit rock bottom at 21 years old.

I learned the most valuable lesson: my parents made the right choices and decisions, and I needed to turn my life around. Thanks to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, I rediscovered living a spiritual life and the ability to work towards my Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with honors, and I am mentoring at-risk youth. I have accomplished lots more, like becoming a certified mediator and paralegal, facilitator, mentor, and a part of Toastmasters International.

I realize no amount of living a life of service can undo the pain I caused in the past; however, by making healthy choices and decisions, I can achieve my goal of being a keynote speaker to help curb gang violence and substance abuse in the community. I’m sharing this in a message of hope and inspiration so that others can see logic through the lens of compassionate family nostalgia, which is my fondest memory.

For the fallen but not forgotten, my mission statement is to reduce recidivism by increasing education. I pray this inspires your next choice or decision to be healthy. May you walk in peace and extend compassion, mercy, and empathy towards your fellow human. Thank you to everyone who’s stood by me. #wifey&mom!

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