Over half the original class quit. We began with 50 and went to graduation on May 16th with 23. I realized there is a lot of excuses people use to not be successful. Both in and out of prison. I met business owners, men and women, who came in here and shared their most precious possession with us, experience.
We have this exercise, called "Step To The Line", where our sponsor asks questions that if the apply to you, step to the line. Inmates are one side, volunteers on the other and as questions like "Step to the line if you grew up with violence in your home", its just one of many like it, and you step to the line and across from you is someone with tears streaming down their face. It's quite the moving experience.
I got to dispel some myths about prison and prisoners. Lockup Raw paints a morbid picture that only benefits their bank accounts, they would never have the courage to cover a scene like Defy Ventures because it negates the macabre, terrifying, dangerous, blood thirsty, weak image of the modern prisoner that they try to instill in your mind as the public.
More importantly, people believe in us, it's okay if you do too. One thing I took away from my graduation is that people believe in me, I may not have won the Business Plan Pitch Competition, but I sure as hell met some awesome people who if I run into when I am a free woman, I can take comfort in knowing we shared at least one genuine moment together. I like that.
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Jeff aka Ruth Utnage
Jeff aka Ruth Utnage 823469 D-610-2
P.O. Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272
or email through jpay.com
Name: Utnage, Jeff (though I am legally Ruth)
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