By: Jessica L. Henry
My identify is Jessica Louise Henry. I am a 39-12 months-old lady born and lifted in Detroit. Following foster care, juvenile detention facilities, teenager being pregnant, a few rehabs, various therapists, 8 jail terms, and two jail bids, my existence had grow to be scattered. I have a visible of cards unfold haphazardly across the floor with numerous unanswered “whys” that have piled up all through my lifetime.
I could tell you about myself, but right until you essentially sit down and get to know me for by yourself, you might not be equipped to entirely respect my story. I am far more than just my faults or my broken historical past. I am a lot more than a statistic or the stigma that culture has taken on alone to place on me. When words are unsuccessful to convey the benefit of my expertise, my steps do significantly much more justice.
Education and learning has always been an vital section of my upbringing, even all over the trauma, neglect, and incarceration. In actuality, due to the fact of the incarceration, my training grew to become a priority. In the course of my initial prison bid I was ready to make my GED at age 32 following currently being out of university for 16 yrs. I experienced hopes of continuing my training upon my release, but my objectives had been hindered by boundaries and self-sabotage. When I commenced my next prison bid, I was ready in a new way. My heart was in it. My soul was prepared for redemption. Right after remaining stripped of my dignity, price, humanity, and really worth because of to my incarcerated condition, I felt that I could reclaim what was taken by acquiring greatness by my tutorial good results.
In January of 2017, I was accepted to Jackson College’s Next Possibility Pell application in which I completed three associate’s degrees by August of 2019. I graduated with a 3.96 GPA and walked across the phase with Higher Honors. I personally attained back all my dignity, value, humanity, worthy of and much more. I even shook the Warden’s hand proudly. It is noteworthy to mention that my overall graduating course graduated with Significant Honors that day, all seventeen gals.
The price that this program has introduced to my lifestyle is a lot more than I have gotten in any of my present-day on-campus classes. Currently being in the prison surroundings, I had a chance to study with ladies who have been via everyday living-altering activities. We figured out with each other with the curriculum and with our experiences in brain. We acquired with pen and paper, our program supplies, and little to no engineering. The intimacy of our classroom, the students and professors provided, can not be matched wherever else.
I now go to Spring Arbor University earning my bachelor’s in Social Do the job with a double minimal in Psychology and Enterprise. I will graduate in the spring of 2023 and go on to get my Learn of Social Do the job (MSW). I can honestly say that now I have individuals scattered cards in my hand, and I can realize the “why” of it all. I know that individuals struggles have ready me for this moment in my daily life, giving back again by social do the job. I know that I have been prepared to assist those people who have or are having difficulties to come across the aid they need to have to get again on their ft. Many thanks to my training and the choices the Second Prospect Pell program afforded me for the duration of my incarceration I can say that I am back on my ft.