Education changed my life
Personal 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:
Garrett Stanley: Journeyman electrician credits WSD vocational training for chance to re-wire life, enjoy success and freedom - The jobs skills and talents that helped turn his life around came as a result of correctional education in TDCJ. Stanley fortunately fell under the guidance of skilled vocational instructors during his years at the Luther Unit in Navasota; education helped him re-direct his path.
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.
Cognitive Intervention Success Story - "I graduated from Cognitive Intervention and the course has had a major impact on me and my behavior".
WSD Success Story: Safety manager, former offender returns to prison to encourage job-readiness - "I have been out of prison for five years, and it makes it a very emotional day to come back: the sights, the smells and the tattoos," Johnathan Granados tells offenders during his visit to a Texas prison facility. Granados was invited to share information about his experience and employment preparation at a Windham School District (WSD) Career Expo. Since his release, Granados has been working with Yantis, a San Antonio construction and land company, and he is one of several businessmen and women participating in a Career Expo at Dominguez State Jail.
Inspiration Success Story - "You are inspiring people you haven’t even met!"