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:

Inspiration Success Story - "You are inspiring people you haven’t even met!"

NEW - After more than 16 years - "I graduated from the electrical program in 1998. I found my Windham teachers were real people, and they..."

NEW - Tools to change my own life - "What can I say about Autobrakes? I guess I need to start by saying it's one of the best classes I have ever taken!"

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."

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..."

Success Stories

Success Story IconIndependent Data Contractor Success Story -
"Due largely to the training I received from my teacher, I am able to be an independent ...

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

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

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Teach for WSD

WSD in Images

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.
Auto specialization students in a West Texas prison learn auto maintenance skills, preparing themselves for future employment as professional mechanics.
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.

Former Student Survey