MY STORY

Image by Andrea Leon

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How it all started

 

I am not going to pretend that I ended up incarcerated through just one incident. I wasn't at the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead, I found myself at the wrong place, wrong time, SEVERAL times. 

The journey to my incarceration began at the age of 12-years-old, dealing with feelings of frustration and anger. With no outlet to express myself, I looked for ways to earn a dollar. The results of my actions compounded over time, leading me to stand before the judge banging the gavel, and at the age of 20 years old, an 11-year prison sentence was announced. 

I thought life was over for me. I was devastated and felt defeated, unable to process what 11 years meant.  Feeling confused I blamed everyone but myself for the first 18 months of my sentence. But after some time I started to take accountability for my actions. I started to view things differently.  I started working out more consistently, reading, writing, engaging in meaningful conversations that allowed for a different perspective. I chose to invest in myself, obtain my GED, and complete a number of programs. Slowly I began to gain more control of myself, my emotions, and focused on the things I wanted for myself. This process led me to unlearning things that I previously believed to be true. I realized that with the right mindset anything is possible.

DURING MY TIME INSIDE

Being incarcerated was one of the worst feelings in the world. Constantly told what to do and when to do it. You are thrown into a cell with a complete stranger where you are to live for an undetermined amount of time. You are trapped in an environment that is negative by nature. Living in that environment is bad enough. Just when I thought things could not get any worst, I found myself in the hole (segregation). This experience changed me forever. I found myself in full restraints, chains around my waist, ankles, and wrist. For eight hours I was locked in chains sitting in a cell. I lost a part of me in prison. I also found my true power deep within myself. I made a vow to make an impact and not be defined by my circumstances. however, few people figure out how to navigate prisons culture in a way that speaks to true transformation.

AFTER MY ENCARCERATION

When I came home from prison it was a complete cultural shock. Technology had developed in a new way where everyone was now walking around with hand held computers. I had never physically touched one of these high tech devices before and had to quickly adjust. Being released came with a new set of challenges, and I won't lie, the temptation to go back to my old life was everywhere. Hanging out with old friends in familiar places felt both natural and dangerous. 

Shortly after being released I found myself at a friend's parking lot, where a drive-by shooting took place before my eyes. I instantly knew I had to make a change, and so I took a job as a dishwasher, picking up as many hours as possible just so that I can have something to focus on, something to keep me out of trouble. It was an honest job that at the time, alongside being in a machining program, gave me the life raft I needed to turn my life around once and for all. 

​I was nervous, overwhelmed, and excited at the opportunity that was in front of me. I remember telling myself that everything was going to be alright. The years of preparation gave me the confidence to step boldly forward, focusing solely on the present day. Now was the time to implement all that I learned through my journey of incarceration.

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

 

 

WHAT NOW?

Currently I am an Instructor of CNC Machining teaching Machinist Mathematics, Master Cam (programming software) and introduction to CNC Machining at Goodwin University. In addition to teaching, I founded Royal G Enterprise where I aim to help others recognize their value while providing them the tools to become effective leaders. As a motivational speaker and advocate for my local community, my aim is to continue developing my services and offers to fulfill this mission.

 

Click here to learn more about my services. 

Stephen P. Campbell, Founder of Royal G Enterprise