By: Jessica L. Henry
My name is Jessica Louise Henry. I am a 39-yr-outdated lady born and elevated in Detroit. Following foster treatment, juvenile detention facilities, teen pregnancy, a few rehabs, numerous therapists, 8 jail phrases, and two jail bids, my lifetime experienced develop into scattered. I have a visual of cards unfold haphazardly throughout the ground with a lot of unanswered “whys” that have piled up all over my existence.
I could convey to you about myself, but till you in fact sit down and get to know me for you, you may well not be ready to thoroughly enjoy my story. I am much more than just my problems or my damaged history. I am much more than a statistic or the stigma that modern society has taken upon alone to location on me. When text fall short to express the worth of my encounter, my actions do considerably far more justice.
Education has normally been an crucial aspect of my upbringing, even during the trauma, neglect, and incarceration. In reality, because of the incarceration, my instruction turned a precedence. Through my initial jail bid I was ready to receive my GED at age 32 following staying out of faculty for 16 a long time. I had hopes of continuing my schooling upon my release, but my goals have been hindered by boundaries and self-sabotage. When I began my second prison bid, I was all set in a new way. My coronary heart was in it. My soul was ready for redemption. Immediately after becoming stripped of my dignity, value, humanity, and worthy of thanks to my incarcerated point out, I felt that I could reclaim what was taken by achieving greatness by my tutorial achievements.
In January of 2017, I was acknowledged to Jackson College’s Next Chance Pell method wherever I finished three associate’s degrees by August of 2019. I graduated with a 3.96 GPA and walked throughout the stage with Superior Honors. I personally acquired back all my dignity, value, humanity, really worth and far more. I even shook the Warden’s hand proudly. It is noteworthy to point out that my overall graduating course graduated with High Honors that day, all seventeen females.
The price that this plan has introduced to my daily life is extra than I have gotten in any of my existing on-campus courses. Being in the jail environment, I had a prospect to discover with females who have been as a result of lifestyle-altering experiences. We figured out jointly with the curriculum and with our ordeals in brain. We learned with pen and paper, our course resources, and minimal to no technologies. The intimacy of our classroom, the pupils and professors incorporated, are not able to be matched anywhere else.
I now attend Spring Arbor University earning my bachelor’s in Social Perform with a double minimal in Psychology and Enterprise. I will graduate in the spring of 2023 and shift on to get my Master of Social Operate (MSW). I can honestly say that now I have individuals scattered playing cards in my hand, and I can fully grasp the “why” of it all. I know that all those struggles have geared up me for this second in my life, giving back again by means of social do the job. I know that I have been prepared to assist those people who have or are battling to obtain the aid they want to get again on their ft. Thanks to my education and learning and the options the Next Likelihood Pell system afforded me for the duration of my incarceration I can say that I am back on my feet.