Journal Entry 

 January 26, 2024: The Power of Preparation 

Michael Santos

Michael Santos

The Power of Preparation: A Journey from Prison to the Front Page

In our course, Preparing for Success after Prison, I pledge that I would never ask anyone to do anything that I didn’t do while I served my sentence, and that I’d never lie to them. All members of our community should know the reasons why I push people to memorialize the steps they’re taking to prepare for success. Below, I offer a few of those reasons.

1) What prompted me to document my journey?

While serving my sentence in federal prison, I often encountered a prevailing sense of hopelessness. Many believed that once behind bars, opportunities for personal and professional growth were limited. However, I held onto a different belief, one that became the cornerstone of my time in prison: “It’s never too early, and it’s never too late to prepare for success.” This mantra fueled my every action, pushing me to make the most of my time and to document my journey, hoping it might inspire others.

2) How did I prepare for success in prison?

Understanding the power of narrative and the digital age, I began publishing a blog detailing the steps I was taking towards rehabilitation and personal development. This wasn’t just a diary; it was a testament to the fact that even in the most challenging circumstances, one could lay the groundwork for a brighter future. I shared stories of resilience, lessons learned, and the strategies I employed to maintain a positive mindset. Every post was a beacon of hope, not just for me but for countless others who sought a path to redemption.

3) The Unexpected Opportunity:

One day, as I transitioned to a halfway house, an unexpected email arrived. Vlae Kirschner, an editor from the San Francisco Chronicle, reached out, expressing his admiration for my blog. He revealed that he had been following my journey for years. Although I did not know him, he knew that I had earned university degrees while in prison, and that I’d published several books. He was deeply moved by my commitment to change and growth. To my astonishment, he proposed featuring my story on the front page of the newspaper. This was the power of preparation coming to fruition. My years of dedication, even in the face of adversity, had not only caught the attention of a renowned editor but also paved the way for numerous business opportunities.

4) The Ripple Effect:

The front-page article was more than just a personal achievement; it was a testament to the idea that with determination, foresight, and a commitment to change, one can overcome the most daunting challenges. My story resonated with many, leading to collaborations, partnerships, and a platform to advocate for positive reforms in the justice system.

Challenge:

To all those reading this, especially those currently incarcerated, I challenge you to embrace the power of preparation. Start today, no matter where you are in your journey. Document your progress, your aspirations, and your challenges. Let your story be a beacon for others, showing that change is possible and that success awaits those who prepare for it.

Furthermore, I invite you to join us at Prison Professors Talent. Share your story, your progress, and your vision for the future. Together, we can create a community that uplifts, supports, and paves the way for success. Send an invite to [email protected] and let’s embark on this transformative journey together.

Michael Santos, 

founder of Prison Professors Talent