Truth Be Told landed some positive press in Austin Woman magazine’s July 2018 issue. The article, titled “Outreach of Hope,” highlights four “woman-backed nonprofits” that are “lending a helping hand to those most in need in the Austin community.”
Journalist Shelley Seale, who has volunteered her time and talent to Truth Be Told in the past, opens her article with the inspiring full-circle story of Truth Be Told graduate Melissa Baker. This past May, Melissa returned to Lockhart Correctional, three years after her release, to speak to our spring 2018 program graduates about life after incarceration.
The article begins:
Melissa first saw adult life on the outside of prison walls in June 2015. She was behind bars for 15 years, having been convicted as a teenager and sent to prison by the time she was 21. She basically grew up imprisoned. When she was released into society, she had never used a cellphone, had a driver’s license or rented an apartment.
Despite the odds, Melissa created a happy new life for herself. With patience and maturity, she built healthy relationships with her two teenage children, who had been infants when she went to prison, and is now thriving in a managerial job in the hospitality field, overseeing a small staff and a departmental budget.
Melissa largely credits her success to a program she participated in while incarcerated. Truth Be Told, a local nonprofit service organization, provides the transformational programs that encourage community building, communication skills, creativity and self-care for women behind and beyond prison walls.
“Truth Be Told is a no-nonsense, open, loving, forgiving place to breathe again, and I honor the program and I owe my life to the volunteers,” Melissa says. “Through all of my searching and longing, through my walk with God, through my education and my family and friends, this class, by far, touched me and opened my soul and allowed me to heal myself, to be my own friend, to love myself, to be free of the pain and burdens that had held me down for so long. The resentment and the betrayals, I finally could let them go. I still, to this day, use this experience as a joy and a lifesaver.”
Truth Be Told is one of several woman-backed organizations carrying out truly life-transforming work through one unifying mission: to lend a helping hand to an overlooked portion of the population.
You can read the full story here.