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:
Cartel to Counselor: Finding HOPE through education - "I did a lot of damage in my lifetime," says former Windham School District (WSD) student Linda Marlin. "I would really like to try to help people realize that there is another way."
To a WSD welding teacher from a former offender student - "I got a job welding and I had to write and just thank you so much for putting me ahead of the game."
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 - I now have a good job - "My Windham teachers showed patience, effort, and kindness; they were very helpful"