Last year I remember thinking I never ever wanted to attend school or any college course. I passionately hated academics since preschool! My first memory in school was getting my head stuck in one of them little kid chairs with the hole in the back. Yeah, I really thought they were going to bring in a chainsaw to cut me out. 

The one thing that kept me coming back was, yep you guest it, all the girl’s. I knew I had a major learning disability, I was even bad at cheating. Overwhelmed and discouraged I walked away with two middle fingers raised in the air. Fear of failure and frustration kept me away from many other opportunities in life as well.

I felt hurt inside, all the other kids were so much smarter than me, and I was always falling behind. The teachers didn’t have time to help me, I couldn’t be more understanding, but I knew school was not for me. I dropped out after my freshman year, I tried to come back a few times, but altogether I realized school would never be apart of my life…………. boy was I wrong.

Once I landed in prison (ten years later) I was told by staff, “hey guess what Mr Byers, you will attend G-E-D classes until you pass”. I jumped up and down like a five year old all pissed off in my response. My god, I hated school back then, but this prison G-E-D class was pure hell. Because of the amazing teacher, and my willingness to get the -F- out of there, I overcame fear and celebrated a major victory by earning my G.E.D. 

I promised myself I would never ever do anything else. Look, I’ve taken every pro-social self help class, anger management, parenting classes, recovery groups, victim awareness, etc, etc, but I always said heck no when people asked me if I wanted to attend school! 

Another ten years later I became so empowered by overcoming fear and celebrating victories in other area’s of my life that I enrolled into Edmonds Community College Small Business and Entrepreneurship classes. After one of the longest years of my life, I climbed that giant mountain an graduated yesterday! Are you kidding me! 

Standing here on this great mountain top overwhelmed by gratitude, joy, deep serenity and peace, arms outstretched I yelled “I’ve made it, I really did it”. Accomplishment feels pretty damn good, I think I’ll stand here at the top for a while and enjoy this beautiful view. WooooH-Hoooo!

Academic achievement box…….. √

I’m moving forward on this incredible path of self-forgiveness and letting go of hurt and pain from past failures. Accepting myself as a human who has faults and makes mistakes. I’m practicing self-love, being more kind to myself and believing I can overcome fear and celebrate major victories by working hard with a ton of desire.

I’m on track to graduate in June with a Associates Degree in Business. Getting through that first year with the help of my amazing instructor Miss MaKay and her purple hair, I decide to take the second part. 

Marshall Byers
for www.lgbtqprisonsupport. com

Write me at

Marshall Byers # 769274
PO Box 888
Monroe WA  98272

or email me at using Marshall Byers # 769274