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:

Success Story posters on campuses - New WSD success story posters are being displayed in schools across the state to encourage students to make education, employment skills, self-esteem and positive change a permanent part of their lives.

Experience, education, training with WSD inspire Stanley to share success with offenders - "I volunteer because the life I have today is beyond the wildest dreams I ever imagined possible," says Garrett Stanley, recipient of a 2016 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award.

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

NEW - 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..."

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".

Success Stories

Success Story IconNEW - We can learn and be successful - "My life is proof that we can learn and be successful and stay out of trouble."

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 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".

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..."

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WSD in Images

Female offenders in Gatesville, Texas, study to improve their literacy skills during a WSD academic class.
Students at the Huntsville “Walls” Unit strengthen writing skills during a literacy class.
Offenders often experience academic success for the first time in a Windham classroom.
Offenders often experience academic success for the first time in a Windham classroom.
Each day WSD correctional educators pass through prison gates across Texas to work with men and women incarcerated within TDCJ.
An offender at the Polunsky Unit prepares for graduation after earning his GED through the Windham School District.