Stephen Akpabio-Klementowski was sentenced to 16 years in jail for dealing drugs following the death of his daddy when he was a teen. Stephen admitted he didn’t see the world as a ‘meritocracy’, instead feeling that he needed to ‘get what [he] might’.
For the very first three months of his sentence Stephen didn’t talk to anyone, however he started to open after using up operate in the kitchens. He was later on examined for his educational potential, after which he was encouraged to enrol at the UK’s Open University.
I ‘d left school without any credentials, nothing. I was terrified of my future.
In spite of his fears, Stephen decided to give it a shot, so he invested his days working in the kitchen area and his nights studying for his course. He had to study while sitting on the toilet, as his cellmate slept comfortably in the bed nearby.
I discovered I liked knowing. Which was enough to keep me going.
Stephen was able to leave prison after eight years, by which time he had actually completed his very first degree as well as 2 more degrees at Masters level.
Following his release, Stephen discovered a task working with students in jails, something he loves and that feels ‘deeply individual’ to him since of his own experience behind bars.
Open University/BBC The speaker hopes his story will influence others, as he acknowledged that his initial lack of qualifications had actually left him with little self-confidence, however he added, ‘that does not indicate that you’re unable to learn’.
Everyone has the prospective and the power to change. I’ve seen it, and I have actually lived it.
Stephen is now happy to have a great life, family and job, and he now hopes other prisoners will use education to assist them find a brand-new path upon release.
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