Journal Entry 

 A Pathway to Freedom 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

During the multiple decades I served in prison, I built hope by working to learn new skills. First, I started working to earn academic credentials. Then, I used the lessons I learned to create opportunities that would generate income. They were long-term strategies that helped me to build confidence while living through the darkest times.

I remember my early days in confinement, surrounded by the bleakness of prison walls. In that setting, I could not attend classes, but I could read. By reading books about people who had gone through challenging times, I started to think differently. Instead of dwelling on my problems, I started to think about what I could do to grow stronger. I could become a better reader, I could build a vocabulary, I could learn to write, and I could improve my math skills.

Every book I read brought me another step towards liberating my mind from the constraints of my physical environment.

This journey wasn’t just about academic learning; it was about personal growth and preparation for the future. I realized that with every new concept I mastered, I was not only enhancing my knowledge but also rebuilding my identity. Education became my strategy for success, a way to prove that I could make amends with society for the crimes I committed.

Our course, “Preparing for Success after Prison,” emphasizes the importance of education as a tool for empowerment. We encourage individuals in prison to seize every learning opportunity, whether formal education, vocational training, or self-study. This course offers guidance and resources to help you navigate and maximize your educational journey behind bars.

We invite you to share your educational achievements and aspirations with us. 

Send an email to [email protected] and including “Request a Book” in the subject line.

You can access resources that will aid your educational journey. Our nonprofit organization provides books like “Earning Freedom: Conquering a 45-Year Sentence” and “Success after Prison,” which are not just informative but also inspiring.

To deepen your commitment to education, consider this challenge: 

  • Identify one subject or skill you wish to learn or improve upon this month. It could be anything from mathematics to a foreign language, or a vocational skill like carpentry. 
  • Devote time each day to this pursuit, turning your confinement into a classroom without walls.

Remember, your current situation doesn’t define your intellectual or personal potential. With dedication and the right resources, education can be your pathway to freedom, unlocking doors to a future filled with promise and possibilities.

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