Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Forty-Nine Days Until My Release From Taft Federal Prison Camp
Yesterday I participated in a class called the Entrepreneurial Compass. It is a class in which I have participated for the past several months. The class is designed to help individuals establish plans and strategies that will advance them toward the goals in their lives. On many occasions, I have led the class, describing how I make deliberate choices with the intention of preparing for the challenges ahead.
Upon my release, I expect to build a career in speaking and consulting. I want to help others overcome adversity and achieve their highest potential in life. I intend to rely upon my lessons from prison as teaching tools. They will apply to the efforts I make to help others. I am convinced that a need exists for the type of counsel I will dispense. Although preparing people for the prison experience will represent one prong of my strategy, I also intend to speak with other groups. I have a clear idea of where I am going, and I look forward to the day when I can implement my plan.
Among the groups whom I intend to address will be from the business community. I want to help business professionals or contribute in some way. One of the contributions I can make will be to share the experiences and bad decisions I made that led me into the criminal justice system. I also want them to know the lessons I learned while serving my sentence, as I feel strongly that those experiences will add value to their careers. Besides the business community, however, I feel strongly that I can provide leadership advice and counsel to less privileged audiences. I saw a 60-Minute episode that described Pete Carroll’s efforts to counsel inner city youth from the areas surrounding USC. He makes a real impact and I know that I can contribute to the coach’s efforts.
I have a friend here at Taft Camp who will be releasing just days after me. His name is Walt Jones and we come from utterly different backgrounds. We have spoken together as part of the Entrepreneurial Compass course and we have a complimentary speaking style. He is a former gang banger, inner-city resident. During the many years Walt has served in prison he reformed himself and has become a powerful speaker. We have discussed the possibility of collaborating as speakers to help inner-city youth and citizens mired in systemic poverty. Together, we’re convinced that we can make a positive difference in the lives of others. I look forward to those opportunities to build stronger communities.