Beginning in the county jail, I earned my GED from Houston Community College. From there I embarked on a long and tortuous journey to receive a formal education.
Once I arrived in prison I didn’t want to get caught up in the usual nonsense and unproductivity that my current environment seems to mandate. So I threw myself into education whole heartedly As a result I was able to earn a few associates degrees, one in language arts through Trinity Valley, and two others in Business Administration and Humanities in Huntsville on the Wynne unit.
But I wasn’t finished there. While still on the Wynne unit I began taking classes from Sam Houston University in pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.
Unfortunately my education dreams got side-tracked when the state of Texas cut the budget at all state colleges. Being a public college, Sam Houston took a major financial blow and promptly decided that with funds in short supply spending money on educating inmates was a unconscionable expense. The crazy things was no one even considered the strong rehabilitative value of these programs which have been shown to cut recidivism.
As the ax fell myself and several other former Sam Houston students pursuing their degrees found ourselves in limbo.
Luckily after two years of educational purgatory the pearly gates of higher education finally opened to me. When I was finally transferred to my current unit which offers a bachelor’s degree program as well a Masters one through the University of Houston Clear Lake.
I have set it as a personal goal to have my master’s degree by the time I’m 40. Being 35 and a ¼ as I write, this means I have 4 years to do it.
I am convinced I can do it. But for me, the ironic thing is that out in society I grew up less than two miles from University of Houston’s main campus, but had to come to prison to attend. Go figure. Like they say, better late than never.
And today I am happy to report that I am headed head first into that place called graduate degree land. Hip Hip Hooray!!!