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:

GED® Success Story - "My son received his GED® through Windham School District. I just wanted to 'Thank You' for this program."

WSD Success Story: Gerente de seguridad, ex-infractor regresa a la cárcel para alentar la preparación para el trabajo - "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.

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

Role Model - Success Story - "I talk to them about how important education is and how hard I'm trying to prove that to them."

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 IconNEW - Better future after prison - "It's mind-blowing and inspirational to know that you can have a better future after prison"

Success Story IconNEW - Thank you for this program - "My son received his GED through Windham School District. I just wanted to thank you for this program."

Success Story IconNEW - I now have a good job - "My Windham teachers showed patience, effort, and kindness; they were very helpful"

Success Story IconNEW - I had given up on myself - "I could barely read or write and didn’t even realize I had given up on myself… a great teacher from WSD taught me how to believe in myself..."

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Teach for WSD

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WSD in Images

Each day WSD correctional educators pass through prison gates across Texas to work with men and women incarcerated within TDCJ.
WSD’s Business and Image Management & Multimedia (BIMM) class offers students the opportunity to learn viable graphic arts and computer skills, helping them prepare for jobs after release.
Offenders often experience academic success for the first time in a Windham classroom.
Vocational and academic skills are integrated in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, such as this Small Engine Repair class in Huntsville, Texas.
Students at the Huntsville “Walls” Unit strengthen writing skills during a literacy class.
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.