New Beginnings

New Beginnings

When I was arrested in 2019, I had an irrefutable love for photography/videography. I had my own business and had a group of classmates who all contributed to my love for the art. However, it was all taken away from me in a flash.
I was arrested shortly after arriving at my high school to begin my studies for the day. From that point, I was taken into custody at the age of 17 and housed at the local juvenile detention center. One thing that I remember while I was housed in juvie was when I was talking to one of the staff members about my hobbies. The topic of photography/videography was brought up and I remember one of the staff members restoring hope and telling me that I would someday be able to continue to do what I love, no matter what was going to happen in my case.
My sentence was read to me 2 days after turning 18, and after hearing it, I was deflated and could not believe the amount of time that I received. I did not know what I was going to do. The detention center staff member’s comment popped into my head while I was being transferred to prison (along with a variety of other thoughts/fears). I thought there was absolutely no way that I was going to be able to do photography/videography ever again. That thought was quickly abolished when I arrived at my current facility and saw that there was a room in the school dedicated specifically to what I love to do. I quickly jumped into the line of fire and began volunteering to do projects for the facility.
A project that I recently completed was creating a video series for a class that is offered called ‘pre-release’. This is a class that is required for all incarcerated individuals in Idaho to complete before they are released. With covid putting a halt to in person classes, the facility administrators jumped at the idea to produce an eleven episode series on a variety of topics that we could put on the unit computers so individuals could still be eligible for release while minimizing risk for contamination. There are also a variety of projects that are in the works, including a prison version of ‘American Idol’.
Not only have I been able to do these projects, but I have found that I really enjoy helping people be successful in their school work. I have been actively aiding in the tutoring of multiple people who need to get their G.E.D. I have also been working with dogs in the dog program at my facility. Whenever I feel down, there is a dog to support me and lift me up. So while at first I thought I would never be able to do something, I have found a multitude of different things that I enjoy to do, while still being able to do what I loved to do on the streets.

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