Prison is not designed to change a person, only you have the power to change yourself.
Incarcerated: 12 years
Housed: Taconic Correctional Facility, Bedford Hills, New York
I am not defined by my crime, I am not a number, I am a beautiful, intelligent woman. I have learned that I can prosper in the worst conditions. I am a survivor! I had to learn to love myself in order to become who I am. It is a terrible feeling, sitting alone in a cell with only your thoughts. My thoughts have given me purpose these past 12 years. I graduated college with an associates and a bachelor’s degree. I have made the dean’s list, all behind walls, locked doors and razor wire. In three years I will be released after serving 16 years. I will be free, but I will never forget. Where there is hope, there is purpose. When I started my sentence I felt alone. I didn’t know how I was going to be in prison for 16 years, without my son. He was nine when I left and will be 21 when I am released. He is my motivation. I want him to be proud of me. I want him to know that I achieved goals and made new ones, all in prison. Prison is not designed to change a person, only you have the power to change yourself. You have to want to succeed, I am determined and I will keep changing – I learn something new everyday because my knowledge is my liberation!