Journal Entry 

 Tuesday, December 12, 2023: Second Chances 

Michael Santos

Michael Santos

Second Chances: How Education Opens Doors Post-Prison

I began serving my sentence when I was 23 years old, back in 1987. As I write this blog, I am much older. While going through the journey of 26 years in prison, and 10 years since getting out, I’ve learned that there is one fact that unites us all as human beings.

We all go through crisis. We all face challenges. And all of us can create our opportunities to respond. We can choose to pick ourselves up and create a second chance. That is the spirit of resilience.

We must believe that we can change and grow, even when the people around us do not believe in us, we can believe in ourselves.

At Prison Professors Talent, we firmly believe in the transformative power of education as a key to unlocking these second chances. I personally benefited from the many teachers who helped me through the journey. I still remember Ms. Sylvia McCollum, an educator who had an influence in helping me transition from a high-security penitentiary. Many educators helped me along the way–but only because they knew that I wanted to help myself.

Our course, “Preparing for Success after Prison,” is designed to empower those who want to help themselves. By providing them with the tools and knowledge necessary to open new doors in their post-prison lives, we do our part in being the change that we want to seed.

What changes do you want to see?

The Transformative Power of Education

Education is more than just acquiring knowledge; it’s a pathway to personal growth, self-improvement, and societal reintegration. For many of our students, education has been the cornerstone of their journey towards a successful reentry into society.

Building a Foundation for Success

The process of education begins by building a strong foundation. This involves:

1. Learning New Skills: Education in prison can range from basic literacy programs to advanced vocational training. These skills become invaluable assets in the job market post-release.

2. Expanding Knowledge: Beyond vocational skills, education encompasses a broader spectrum of knowledge, including financial literacy, legal awareness, and social sciences, which are crucial for understanding and navigating the world outside prison walls.

3. Developing Critical Thinking: Education fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills, enabling individuals to make informed decisions and tackle challenges effectively in their personal and professional lives.

Success Stories: Education as a Catalyst

We’ve witnessed countless success stories where education has played a pivotal role. Consider the case of Roman. He is an amazing young man from Manila. While incarcerated, he developed exceptional typing skills, writing skills, and verbal communication skills. Although he did not have access to computers, by reading and asking good questions from others, he developed his understanding of computers. Now, he plays a crucial role in our group at Prison Professors Talent. Roman, and his wonderful wife Lyn, devote countless hours to publish the contributions our members make in memorializing their commitment to preparing for success upon release.

In your response, I’d appreciate it if you could thank Roman and Lyn. We appreciate them very much.

Your Path to Educational Empowerment

At Prison Professors Talent, we encourage you to embrace education as a tool for empowerment. Our course, “Preparing for Success after Prison,” is tailored to help you navigate the challenges of reentry and harness the power of education for a brighter future.

We invite you to share your educational journey and aspirations with us at I[email protected]. By including “Request a Book” in the subject line of your email, we will donate a book from our resources to support your educational endeavors, provided our nonprofit has the resources available.

Books to Empower Your Educational Journey:

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, at Prison Professors Talent, we stand by the belief that education is a powerful key to unlocking second chances. It’s not just about learning; it’s about transforming lives. Join us in this journey of educational empowerment and open new doors to a world of opportunities.

Respectfully,

Michael Santos

Founder, Prison Professors Talent