Journal Entry 

 Pathways to Progress 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

Pathways to Progress:

Embracing Education During Incarceration

When living in confinement, I felt separated from the rest of the world. I remember wanting to connect, but at the start of my journey, I didn’t know how to reach beyond the high walls surrounding me. I had to learn. If I could learn, I believed that I could connect with other people whom I did not know and who did not know me. If I worked to educate myself, I believed that I could persuade them to see me differently.

At Prison Professors Talent, we understand that physical barriers present obstacles but that a person inside can still learn. A person can embark upon a pathway to progress from anywhere, even from within the walls of a prison.

The Power of Learning in Incarceration

My journey through a 45-year sentence taught me the transformative power of education. While locked in the solitude of an isolated housing unit, I felt hope when an officer brought me biographies of great figures like Socrates, Nelson Mandela, and Frederick Douglass. By reading about those men, I felt as if I had teachers. They showed me that despite my physical confinement, my mind could roam free. These stories of resilience and wisdom helped me realize that education was my pathway to inner freedom and future success.

Education: A Tool for Inner Liberation

People in prison may find that building knowledge is a tool for liberation. Anyone can develop an ability to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to understand the world in a broader context. If we prepare for challenges, we open opportunities to seize or create new pathways to liberty.

Our Course: A Beacon of Hope

Our course, “Preparing for Success after Prison,” is designed to light this path of educational empowerment. We provide resources, guidance, and support to help people in prison harness the power of learning, regardless of current circumstances. I never ask anyone to do anything that I didn’t do–and I show course participants how learning new skills in prison leads to income opportunities after release.

Critical Thinking:

We challenge you to embrace continuous learning as a daily practice.

  • Start by identifying a subject that interests you. It could be history, science, literature, or any field that sparks your curiosity.
  • Dedicate daily time to read, reflect, and write about what you learn. This habit will enhance your knowledge and improve your critical thinking and communication skills.
  • Write five paragraphs that describe how this personal-development exercise will contribute to your success upon release.

Share Your Journey

We invite you to share your educational journey with us. Send your stories, your learnings, and your aspirations to [email protected]. If you include “Request a Book” in the subject line of your email, we will donate a book from our resources to aid in your educational journey, provided our nonprofit has financial resources available.

Books to Inspire and Educate

  1. Earning Freedom: Conquering a 45-Year Sentence
  2. Success after Prison
  3. Prison! My 8,344th Day
  4. Release Plan 2024
  5. Preparing for Success after Prison

In conclusion, remember that your current location does not define your potential. Education is a journey that transcends walls, and it’s a journey that can start today. Let’s embark on this path of continuous learning and growth together.

Michael Santos
Founder, Prison Professors Talent

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