One of the proudest moments of my life came in 2012 when I received my Associate of Arts degree and graduated as the class valedictorian. I realize that for some people earning a two year degree may seem like no big deal, but the fact that I did it while incarcerated at San Quentin made it extraordinary for me. Before coming to prison, I had failed at my two previous attempts at junior college without earning a single unit. It would take getting locked up and separated from society,before I 'd start to buckle down. I was 33-years old when I completed my first Coastline College course in Geology and received an A. This milestone helped me to see the value in learning and gave me the confidence to go after an education I had all but given up on. When I transferred to San Quentin,I immediately enrolled in the college program offered through Patten University. The coolest thing about Patten compared to other prison college programs is that they bring in grad students from surrounding colleges like UC Berkeley and University of SF to help teach and tutor over 20 different classes per semester.Another major plus was that things like tuition, books,and class materials were …show more content…
I was amazed to find out that at San Quentin, Patten University graduates were allowed to invite family members inside the prison for a cap and gown ceremony. Also,the graduate with the highest GPA was named valedictorian and selected to make a speech at the graduation. I knew right away this was something I wanted, because it would give me the voice I longed for to rail against the injustices within the prison system. I worked my tail off for three years amid the chaos of cell searches, quarantines, and lock downs. But in the end, it all paid off because I earned a 3.93 GPA and was selected the valedictorian. The only thing left to do was to put the speech, which I had already written in my head 1000 times, down on paper. However, once I began writing,I realized that something inside of me had
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
In my freshman year, I made a choice to relinquish some of my social life and replace that time giving back to my community. I joined a non-profit organization called the Volunteer Corp. We spent our time at food banks, park clean-ups, and even hosting local events. This experience left a lasting impression on me in many ways; however, one experience changed my perspective on life and serve as a constant reminder of how the smallest contribution to others can be the most powerful. St. Joseph University, in Philadelphia, held an event called Hand in Hand. It was an event dedicated to raising awareness for people with physical and/or developmental disabilities.
Jackie Robinson stated one of my favorite quotes, "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. " For two semesters, I have participated in the Community College Completion Corps. I have served as both Sub-Chair planner and Vice President of membership; in the former position I led the campaign. This event educates Tarrant County College Southeast Campus students as wells as faculty members about the importance of graduating from community college.
There are many events that led to this day and I could not imagine how my life would have turned out. At a young age, I was embodied with the notion that you need college to be successful in life, so I worked hard in school and finally it had paid off. My last semester
In college, they learned to keep pushing and never let one thing knock you down. They have told me countless times of how they had to work to go to school and change how they acted around classmates. I learned that if my dad didn’t have that degree I wouldn’t be writing this journal entry right now. It made me appreciate what I have and try to give to others that need help. Encourage people to shoot for the stars and attend that class because something as small as money for a bus ticket can change a person’s
As I traveled through each grade of the Croton-Harmon High School, my personal and academic goals helped to me to really flourish. These goals may have varied from year to year because a freshman is a little different from a senior, but they basically had all the same concept: I wanted to strive in school to be the best all-around student I could be, constantly stay focused and immerse myself in the Croton community. By setting my expectations and goals very high, I could flourish academically and really work to my full potential. By following these goals in school I pushed myself very hard and tried to take classes that would challenge me as well as help me to flourish as a student.
In the early hours of March 2013, I remember waking up and praying for the nightmare to be over because I felt I had no way out of my current situation. My life had come to a point where I was no longer in control and heroin was controlling my every decision. A few short hours after that fictitious “fox hole” prayer, I found myself handcuffed in the back of an uncover officers vehicle on my way to Lackawanna County Prison. I had never felt so alone, but at the same time, I had never felt so relieved in my life. Later I would realize that what I perceived as the worst day of my life would soon become the event that I am most grateful for because I was given an opportunity to break the chains of addiction and to grow into the person that I had always dreamed I could be.
Helping out my mother with the bills, working full time and commuting to college, seemed like the destined plan for me after high school. Nonetheless, it came as a shock to everyone when I confessed, I had accepted my admission to Texas A&M. My family took it the worst at first, as it seemed if I wanted to run away from the responsibilities that had suffocated me up to the minute I pressed
I am extremely honored to be eligible for this opportunity to apply for the National Honor Society. Becoming a member of the National Honor Society has been a goal I set for myself since I was a student in middle school. I have been greatly looking forward to this moment for a very long time. Overall, I have worked incredibly hard these last two years to display a positive character and obtain qualities such as leadership, responsibility, and scholarship. I strongly believe I will be a productive and reliable member of the National Honor Society at Harvard H. Ellis Technical High School.
Watching Ben, my older brother in his cap and gown walking diploma in hand also had a huge impact on me. Honestly I was very emotional that day I didn’t know if I was more jealous, or excited for him at the time. This really showed me how fast he grew up, and how fast I am growing up, then realizing it will be me walking diploma in hand with thirteen years of education under my belt questioning what I actually learned. The night he graduated both of my brothers, some friends, and I went out driving with nothing to do, and nowhere to be a very common activity in Lindstrom, Minnesota. That’s when I realized we were ‘free’, well at least the graduates were, and at which time did not include me considering I would get the pleasure of waking up ‘crusty eyed’ and zombified in the morning only to go back to what society calls ‘school’ even though most of us have another name for it, and be educated for yet another seven hours on repeat.
In life, you can go through a lot but only a few people actually can bounce back. In High School I’ve gone through many trials and tribulations to get to the point I’m at now. I’ve been held to high standards based on the classes I’ve taken. My Honors classes built the foundation for me to start challenging myself and kill the procrastination problem I possessed in my young academic career. The Honors classes prepared me for the Advanced Placement classes that were offered.
Stanford Prison Experiment Philip Zimbardo questioned, “What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?” (Zimbardo, 1971) In 1971 a psychologist named Philip Zimbardo conducted an experiment on the effects prison has on young males with the help of his colleague Stanley Milgram. They wanted to find out if the reports of brutality from guards was due to the way guards treated prisoners or the prison environment.
An archetype is a pattern of behavior that can help us understand ourselves and others. To have a greater understanding of myself, I recognized the person archetype of a student within myself and the archetype of a journey throughout my four years in high school. These archetypes helped me throughout high school and helped me gain knowledge that I can apply throughout my life. My first archetype is one that many people experience within their life, a student. Everyone in their life has learned something either by learning from others or from themselves (Archetypes, Intellectual archetypes).
Graduating from Fort Bend was actually my first time ever graduating from any school, and that was due to the simple reason that I had changed schools about four or five times, before settling down and graduating from Fort Bend Christian Academy. I’ve known since middle school that I wanted to do something related to the chemistry major, but it was not until I attended a leadership camp the summer before my sophomore year of high school that I decided I wanted to major in chemical engineering. The camp was focused on the engineering field, and team work and team bonding. As a final project, we were all split into groups of five to six and we had to come up with an idea on how to improve a water fountain, a slot machine, or a stationary bike. I found the project to be very interesting, and the experience had a