By Kenneth Holmes
December 7, 2019
I do not know what to think of the sentiment, “almost there/here.” I often hear it, when my family says it to keep me focused, aware that my time for freedom is just that, almost here. It’s only when I talk to my brothers from the Let’s Circle Up workshop, a group of men who I now consider my extended family, and who don’t mind helping me find my way to this freedom my family often speaks about, that I get a feeling of what “almost there” feels like. In this feeling I am scared, scared of what I don’t know, of what is expected of me once in this new world. I wonder how I will be perceived. Will I wear an invisible cloak that I have been through what I have been through, only everyone can see it? Who can help me shake this feeling? Is there help out there for someone like me? Someone who has been a part of a system for more than half their life (29 years)? It’s only….
--Kenneth has spent nearly thirty years of his life as a peer educator. He is strong in his faith; it’s what keeps him humble. Kenneth is co-founder of the organization Youthful Offenders Coalition (Y.O.C.) that serves juvenile offenders past the age of 17. This cause has made him a more driven person. Kenneth has done everything he can to better himself as a human being, and hopes to make a positive difference back in society someday. Although he has apprehensions and thoughts about how this new world will embrace him, he has made it known that his Let’s Circle Up family deserves much of the credit for its invaluable tools, that will assist in his freedom. They will help in reminding him of people who are out there, who are inherently good, and are willing to help someone like him.