For most seniors, graduation and prom are some of the most stressful moments of a high school career, but for Jordan, it was making a call to a disappointed mother from DC Jail. At just 17 years old, he found himself in a jail cell facing time for a criminal offense—one of his first, ever.…
Interview by Kelli Taylor I love cooking! I really do! I enjoy putting the plate together, being creative with it, knowing that somebody I don’t know from a can of paint ‘bout to enjoy this meal I’m putting together. That in itself is just heartwarming. Especially when the rush come and you got a rack…
If you had asked me what I wanted out of life when I was 16, I would have just shrugged my shoulders at you. I wouldn’t have had any answers to questions about my future. I didn’t have dreams. – Nick, age 27
Varvie was just shy of his 18th birthday when he was arrested, charged and convicted as an adult. He spent the next 11 ½ years in federal prisons across the country. Upon his release, Varvie, now 29, was determined to prove to himself and his loved ones that he had changed and was now a…
Malik was not surprised to find himself charged and incarcerated as an adult at the DC Jail when he was just 16 years old. “I knew by the choices I was making where I was going to end up,” he says. “I had already been locked up in juvenile facilities 13 different times by then.”
“Being a better man makes me a better father…I don’t want to let him down. I want to show him what I think a father is—someone who you can trust, someone who is there for you. I’m always going to be there.”
“From then on, whenever the cell doors closed for the night, I’d start writing. And the crazy thing was, I was in jail, but when I was writing, I felt safer than I ever felt at home.” Find out how you can help here.
“All that playin’ tag and swingin’ on the swing set? All that just faded away. They call it ‘jumping off the porch.’ In the streets, they didn’t care about my clothes. They was more into me. That’s where I got my love from—the streets.” Find out how you can help here.
“After I learned to read and write poetry with Free Minds, I started to feel confident and I wrote my first poem titled ‘Mommy.’ Writing that poem was very therapeutic because I felt like I was actually talking directly to my mom.” Find out how you can help here.
“I remembered I did want to change. I wanted to give back after taking so much from so many.”