An inspiring young lady

Last week, while speaking in the U.S.,I met a young lady who had recently started a plumbing business.

On the way to the convention that we were both presenting at, she indicated that she was talking about a project to help inmates in U.S. prisons to prepare to start a business. 

We had a fascinating talk that led me to ask her about how she came across the program.

“While I was incarcerated” was the answer and then there was an awkward pause before I wondered how she came to be incarcerated. 

I learned that a few wrong decisions had led to a period of time where she robbed several banks and was sentenced to 15 years in prison and had to leave her five-year-old son in someone else’s care. 

I am sure it is not a unique story, but it was the first time I had had such a conversation. What struck me as I questioned her further was how genuine she was in wanting to fit in to society, which, by all accounts, is not easy when you have a criminal record.

She had immersed herself in education and was well on her way to completing an undergraduate degree and moving in to a master's and had been successful in going through her mentoring program to start a business, ultimately winning a “pitch event” and getting some seed capital to get going. 

I found her immensely polite and engaging and she clearly had an unconditional love for her family and community who did nothing but love her after she was found guilty of her crimes. 

Thankfully for her, because of the support she received, the commitment she made to get an education and pursue her business, her sentence was reduced to nine years. She had been a free citizens for only five months when I met her.

She truly was an inspiration to many people.

If the U.S. could now find an inspiring leader who unites the country, they will be on a better path I believe.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for more than 40 years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business.

He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the U.K. in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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