Education changed my life

education changed life 1Personal reflections of Chad Kennemer - Huntsville Unit.

The purpose of the Windham School District (WSD) is to assist offenders in meeting their educational objectives. To sign up for GED classes or learn a trade, Windham is the place to go. These opportunities are great, but WSD is so much more than that; for me it was a change of life.

I have been in and out of prison practically all my life. At a young age I began serving time in penal institutions but I never thought about my education. I could barely read or write and didn't even realize that I had given up on myself. But one day, a great teacher from WSD taught me how to believe in myself by showing me the importance of getting an education. She gave me the tools for my education and as a result built my self confidence

When I started this journey I was on the lowest level for the GED testing, so I decided to commit myself to learning. As a result of my hard work and dedication, I am now only three points away from being eligible to take my GED test.

This education has affected my life in many ways: my family has noticed the change in the way I walk and talk; I have a healthier relationship with my kids. I recently read the "Twilight" series by Stephanie Meyer solely for the enjoyment of reading. That is a lot to be said for a man who could barely read and write just a few years ago.

 

It was the greatest accomplishment in my life to learn how to read and write. It has taught me to believe in myself and to conquer my fears. I was reminded of the old saying, "It's not how hard you fall; it's how quickly you pick yourself up!" I am thankful for this unique opportunity provided by WSD. Not only did they give me a chance to further my education, but they also selected the right teachers that changed not only my future, but my children's future as well.

I am extremely grateful that WSD is much more than trade certificates and GEDs. As a result of my teacher helping me believe in myself, I now have greater freedom in my life. I can be the father my kids need, as well as a positive role model in my community. Most importantly, I can remain free upon my release.

 

Other Success Stories that may interest you:

Former Windham student becomes successful electrician - Garrett Stanley, a wonderful story of success in life after incarceration.

NEW - I learned a great deal - "I really enjoyed this class and I learned a great deal. Painting and Decorating is something I always wanted to do and learn."

Cartel to Counselor: Finding HOPE through education - "I did a lot of damage in my lifetime," says former Windham School District (WSD) student Linda Marlin. "I would really like to try to help people realize that there is another way."

To a WSD welding teacher from a former offender student - "I got a job welding and I had to write and just thank you so much for putting me ahead of the game."

NEW - I’m so grateful I took welding - "I’m so grateful I took welding; I’ve come so far in my career because the things I was taught in that program".

Success Stories

Success Story IconPolunsky Unit Success Story -
"He [Mr. Leblanc] taught me things that even the guys rebuilding transmissions for many years didn't know."

Success Story IconNEW - I can now make a living. I’m free - "The welding program helped me build character. Mr. Perry taught me how to talk like a welder..."

Success Story IconEducation changed my life -
"These opportunities [GED classes or learning a trade] are great, but WSD is so much more than that; for me it was a change of life."

Success Story IconNEW - I learned to change my perspective - "It’s the education I learned in Cognitive Intervention class that changed me. I learned to change my perspective."

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WSD in Images

Students at the Huntsville “Walls” Unit strengthen writing skills during a literacy class.
Vocational and academic skills are integrated in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, such as this Small Engine Repair class in Huntsville, Texas.
Each day WSD correctional educators pass through prison gates across Texas to work with men and women incarcerated within TDCJ.
Offenders often experience academic success for the first time in a Windham classroom.
Texas State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill congratulates GED recipients during Spring, 2014, ceremonies. “I am very impressed with the program and with the commitment of the staff and teachers,” she said.
Female offenders in Gatesville, Texas, study to improve their literacy skills during a WSD academic class.