$100K in 10 Days – Featuring our Truth Be Told Graduate, April
Our fundraiser is well under way. Thanks to all of our donors that have already taken the time to make donations. We are featuring 10 videos and an accompanying blog over the course of our fundraiser. 10 stories in 10 days. Uplifting stories of growth and transformation, none of them possible without donors like you.
Today we are featuring April who was released in April 2020. April is embracing her newfound voice by telling her story to empower other women.
TBT: What do you want people to know about incarceration and the criminal justice system?
April: What I want people to know about incarceration and the criminal justice system is that everyone makes mistakes. Being in prison is punishment enough without feeling judged or punished by society. Our justice system is not a fair one and many are not given a fair chance. It is hard to make something of yourself in prison because not everyone is given a chance to go to school and attend classes. Even if you do it is still not enough to help you make parole. The conditions in prison are not the best and it is especially hard for those who have no means of financial support. Despite what the laws say incarceration is not always the answer. Some people suffer from mental illness which prisons are not equipped to handle. Some people who are sick are put in prison to mask the situation. Until you have lived some of these people’s stories you should not judge something, you can’t even begin to understand.
TBT: What is your favorite motto, phrase, or affirmation?
April: My favorite motto, phrase or affirmation is one from Audrey Hepburn that says, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible”.
TBT: Out of all the work that you did with Truth Be Told, what is the most memorable lesson or tool that you still use to this day.
April: Out of all the work I did with Truth Be Told, the most memorable tool or lesson I use would be the grounding techniques when I find myself in stressful situations. I also tell my truth. It wasn’t until I took the Talk to Me writing class that I could be honest with my family and most importantly with myself. One tool I found memorable was the letter to the wise woman meditation.
TBT: We are all one choice away from incarceration. Describe one choice from your past that put you on the path to incarceration
April: One choice from my past that put me on the road to incarceration was my fear to escape an abusive home situation, a fear that dictated my life for so many years. I convinced myself I was protecting my family, but in the end, I lost myself. I went to prison and caused my family so much pain.
TBT: What are you excited about in your life now or looking forward to in the future?
April: What I am most excited about in my life now and looking forward to most in the future is a beginning chapter with my boyfriend. We just signed a lease for our own place, which we will move into next week. I’m excited about decorating, painting, and making it a home before the holidays.
I have just celebrated a year with the company I work for, and I look forward to continuing to grow with them in the future.
I graduate with my associate degree this coming year and have plans to transfer to a four-year university.
TBT: Tell us about your best day in prison and your worst day in prison
April: My worst day in prison happened a few years ago, I got caught up in a messy situation between my bunkie and her friends which landed me in segregation a couple of days before Christmas. My family always saw me for the holidays. All I kept thinking about was how my mom was supposed to see me that Christmas Eve and what she might feel upon hearing that our visit was now behind plexiglass with no physical contact. Our visits normally allowed contact and I could hug her. It hurt to see her because I felt as though I let her down.
My best day happened on two different days. First was when I received a jpay from my brother letting me know that I made parole. We were on lockdown because of COVID so I could not call my family. The second would be the day I was released from prison after serving 9 1/2 years of a ten-year sentence.
April has found her voice and her community. She is using her story to let other women know that they are not alone. Now it’s your turn. Make your donation here today. Let women know that there is a bigger community cheering them on.