June 16, 2024


International Student Club UK

Reclaiming my dignity, value, humanity and worth through education


Reclaiming my dignity, value, humanity and worth through education

By: Jessica L. Henry

My title is Jessica Louise Henry. I am a 39-12 months-outdated woman born and lifted in Detroit. Soon after foster treatment, juvenile detention centers, teenager pregnancy, three rehabs, many therapists, 8 jail phrases, and two jail bids, my daily life experienced turn out to be scattered. I have a visible of cards distribute haphazardly across the floor with numerous unanswered “whys” that have piled up through my existence.  

I could convey to you about myself, but right up until you truly sit down and get to know me for on your own, you may not be ready to completely enjoy my story. I am more than just my errors or my damaged background. I am extra than a statistic or the stigma that modern society has taken upon alone to put on me. While terms fall short to convey the price of my expertise, my actions do significantly much more justice. 

Training has normally been an important portion of my upbringing, even in the course of the trauma, neglect, and incarceration. In actuality, due to the fact of the incarceration, my training turned a priority. All through my 1st jail bid I was able to generate my GED at age 32 immediately after becoming out of college for 16 several years. I had hopes of continuing my schooling upon my release, but my aims ended up hindered by obstacles and self-sabotage. When I started my second jail bid, I was ready in a new way. My heart was in it. My soul was all set for redemption. Immediately after being stripped of my dignity, worth, humanity, and really worth because of to my incarcerated state, I felt that I could reclaim what was taken by obtaining greatness by way of my educational success.  

In January of 2017, I was recognized to Jackson College’s Next Probability Pell application the place I completed a few associate’s levels by August of 2019. I graduated with a 3.96 GPA and walked throughout the stage with High Honors. I individually obtained again all my dignity, worth, humanity, truly worth and much more. I even shook the Warden’s hand proudly. It is notable to point out that my whole graduating class graduated with Superior Honors that working day, all seventeen females. 

The worth that this application has introduced to my lifestyle is a lot more than I have gotten in any of my existing on-campus courses. Remaining in the prison environment, I had a likelihood to understand with women of all ages who have been through lifestyle-altering ordeals. We acquired together with the curriculum and with our ordeals in mind. We realized with pen and paper, our system components, and small to no technological innovation. The intimacy of our classroom, the learners and professors included, are not able to be matched everywhere else.

I now attend Spring Arbor College earning my bachelor’s in Social Do the job with a double minor in Psychology and Business enterprise. I will graduate in the spring of 2023 and transfer on to get my Master of Social Work (MSW). I can honestly say that now I have those scattered cards in my hand, and I can have an understanding of the “why” of it all. I know that those struggles have prepared me for this minute in my lifetime, giving back by means of social operate. I know that I have been well prepared to aid those people who have or are having difficulties to uncover the aid they need to have to get back again on their toes. Thanks to my instruction and the opportunities the Next Chance Pell application afforded me in the course of my incarceration I can say that I am back on my toes. 


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