How long has it been since you were released?
I was released from prison on February 5, 2007.
Describe your life today.
My life today is completely different than the life that sent me to prison. I have been clean and sober for 9-plus years. I have an associate’s degree in applied sciences with an emphasis in chemical dependency. I am one class from completing a bachelor’s degree in addiction psychology. My life is a testimony about how a woman can change her life and become a servant leader to society. I spend a lot of time with family, especially my granddaughters. My life is very busy but very fruitful.
What do you find most rewarding about your career today?
I work for a nonprofit organization in East Texas that helps court-ordered adolescent males have a second chance at life. For the past six years, I have been a licensed chemical dependency counselor. This position is very rewarding because I/we are helping young men change their lives to be our future leaders, fathers and role models.
Tell us about the volunteer work you do and why you do it.
I volunteer with Truth Be Told to be an example to others who are incarcerated and are hoping to have a better life once they are released. I also sponsor people in the Narcotics Anonymous program to help them find their way back into society and become productive members of society.
What did you gain through Truth Be Told, and why are organizations like Truth Be Told worth supporting?
I took Truth Be Told classes in 2006 while I was incarcerated at the Lockhart women’s facility. Truth Be Told also was an enormous amount of support as I reentered society and embarked in my journey through life. They have remained in my support system for 12 years now. The tools they provided me while I was incarcerated have helped me to be successful and stay out of prison, to get an education and to be a mentor to others Truth Be Told serves.
Truth Be Told invests in the future of women, so an investment in this nonprofit will benefit everyone in society.
What do you feel is the biggest misconception people have about incarcerated people?
The biggest misconception is that we, the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, are less than and will never amount to anything. I believe that people do what they know to survive, and at times this means breaking the law because they felt they had no other choice. Labels present multiple challenges upon release and hinder success; therefore, it can set people up to simply be a recidivism statistic.
I refused to be a statistic. People are capable of changing if they desire a new way to live. I am a testament to this TRUTH.
Is there anything you want people to know about you or Truth Be Told that these questions didn’t address?
Truth Be Told taught me the 4 Cs: communication, community, creativity and caring for self. I learned to communicate my needs to become part of a community, which led me to have vision and creativity for a better life. Using my communication skills, forming a safe community and creatively envisioning my future helped me to care for myself.
Honor Margie by helping Truth Be Told raise $30,000 in 10 Days between Sept 15-24. All gifts made during this 10-day campaign will DOUBLE in size, thanks to a matching pledge of up to $30,000! Your gift will ensure that Truth Be Told continues to provide safe community and healing programs to nearly 1,000 justice-involved women every year! Click on $30,000 in 10 Days to make your gift today!
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