I went through the first Defy cohort in 2018-2019 and I have been a peer facilitator for our second cohort since that time. Our group just got to attend their first Defy Ventures Washington event and let me tell you, it was amazing!
First let me just acknowledge that most prisoners only get instant coffee for decades at a time and when our wonderful sponsor and fearless Russian leader, Leo Novsky, brings normal drip coffee..hehe, it’s kinda like giving kids sugar and letting them have at a ball pit, blissful insanity.
In all seriousness, this time I got a different perspective. Many of the guest mentors I have seen a few times before and as much as I wanted to jump in the mix I also know what it feels like to meet these amazing people for the first time. They have a way of making you feel so special and these guys and gals are worth feeling special. I got to see just that. Men and women, free and incarcerated, feeling special, appreciated, and even needed.
So many of these men and women feel disposable, like they are going to be forgotten about, I know, I feel that way sometimes. But its events and programs like these that repair that wound in a big way. Every smile and handshake is like another spiritual suture that leaves everyone feeling better.
Thank you to everyone involved.
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Jeff aka Ruth Utnage 823469 C-601-2
P.O. Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272
or email through jpay.com
Name: Utnage, Jeff (though I am legally Ruth)
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