Former Windham student becomes successful electrician

TDCJ's offender newspaper, The ECHO, had the opportunity to interview ex-offender Garrett Stanley, who tells a wonderful story of success in life after incarceration. His story documents hard work, motivation and a desire to do well in life.

Former Windham student becomes successful electrician.ECHO: Describe your life before prison.

GS: I did time in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) from the ages of 14 to 16. I received my GED there at TYC. By the time I was 17 years old I was into drinking and drugs and in TDCJ on a 17-year sentence.

ECHO: Describe your prison educational experience.

GS: I did 12 years on a 17 year sentence from 1994-2006. I was on Luther, Torres and Hughes units during that time.

I attended and completed the electrical trades classes offered by the Windham School District (WSD). I was able to work for the unit maintenance department as an electrician for four years where I obtained invaluable experience on a day-to-day basis at work. I also volunteered and worked as a teacher's aide in the electrical trades classes for one and one-half years.

ECHO: Do you have any special comments about the WSD instructors you had for the courses?

GS: They were all great. They showed patience and kindness. They were very helpful. They taught us even when some of us were unteachable.

ECHO: Describe your life after release in 2006.

GS: At that time, I was assisted by Project RIO. I bought tools. I saw an advertisement in the newspaper, place by an electrical union. I answered the ad. They gave me a skills evaluation test and I scored very well due to the WSD classes and my experience at the Luther Unit. I have now been working for the same contractor for seven years.

ECHO: Describe your current position.

GS: I am a journey man electrician working at commercial and industrial sites, including power plants and water treatment plants.

ECHO: Explain how you think WSD made an impact on your life after TDCJ.

GS: I now have a good job and a good career due to the classes and skills learned through the WSD Electrical Trades program. I give all the credit to WSD such that I can make an honest living. I am a citizen of society, pay taxes and no one can take these things from me.

ECHO: What would be your advice to current offenders?

GS: Educate yourself for your future. Take advantage of every avenue of education available for you. Be hungry for knowledge. Dedicate your time toward an education and skills that can provide a career once released.

 

Reprinted from The ECHO.

 

Other Success Stories that may interest you:

Historia de Éxito de WSD: gerente de seguridad, ex-infractor vuelve a prisión para alentar la preparación laboral - "He estado fuera de prisión durante cinco años, y hace que sea un día muy emotivo para volver: las vistas, los olores y los tatuajes", dice Johnathan Granados a los infractores durante su visita a una prisión de Texas. Granados fue invitado a compartir información sobre su experiencia y preparación para el empleo en una Expo de Carrera del Distrito Escolar de Windham (WSD). Desde su liberación, Granados ha estado trabajando con Yantis, una empresa de construcción y terrenos de San Antonio, y es uno de los varios hombres y mujeres de negocios que participan en una Expo de Carrera en la Cárcel Estatal de Domínguez.

NEW - I began to believe - "I was a straight-F student, and I didn’t think I could learn anything. I had a teacher who wouldn’t give up".

Welding Success Story - "I'm thankful for the welding program I was allowed to take while locked up".

Nate Williamson showing offenders the path to self-improvement - "Life is serious. Freedom is serious. Employment after incarceration is serious. Education is the thread that will enable offenders to tie all of this together," said former Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) offender Nate Williamson.

NEW - 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."

Success Stories

Success Story IconNEW - Learning equals possibilities - "Being incarcerated since I was young, I have had my share of trials and struggles. But knowing every morning that I may..."

Success Story IconWelding Success Story -
"I'm thankful for the welding program I was allowed to take while locked up".

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 IconCognitive Intervention Success Story -
"I graduated from Cognitive Intervention and the course has had a major impact on me and my behavior".

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WSD in Images

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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.