New Footprints a New Future, Inc. was established from my compassion for children affected by the incarceration of a parent. They face an increased risk of psychological and behavioral problems. Research has shown that children of incarcerated parents are likely to enter the criminal justice system. Therefore, to curtail this cycle, I am compelled to educate, empower and ensure that the footprints of the next generations are equipped to follow the path of success.
Approximately around the age of 12, I had a teenage cousin who committed a crime that led him to a life sentence in the Florida state prison system. As you could imagine, the verdict left my family distraught and in disbelief. His parents and siblings were emotionally traumatized and eventually had to come to grips with the fate of their loved one.
Growing up, I was intrigued by the criminal justice system. During my senior year in high school, I decided to volunteer in the prison ministry through my local church. Our team visited the Turner Guilford Correctional Center on the weekends. We provided hope and healing through bible studies with incarcerated men. The more I attended the services, the more I enjoyed the fellowship. Amazingly, a spark ignited in my heart, and I became passionate about impacting the lives of inmates.
Interestingly, I desired to become a lawyer upon graduating from high school. Instead of pursuing my dreams, I took a more accessible way out and completed classes as a paralegal at a private college. Unfortunately, the college closed, and I never continued my ambition in the legal field. Eventually, I obtained an Associate in Arts at Miami Dade Community College, a Bachelor's in Social Work at Florida International University, and a Master's in Special Education at Florida Memorial University. I am currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in education focusing on organizational leadership at Nova Southeastern University.
As years passed, the effects of an incarcerated parent hit home again when my youngest nephew's father was sentenced to the Florida prison system. Their relationship has been off and on through phone calls, mail, and contact visitations in prison for sixteen years. Due to the incarceration, my nephew struggles with anti-social behaviors. He requires services and a support system to achieve his educational, behavioral, and social-emotional goals.
In my spare time, I periodically visit my cousin in prison, where we catch up on our life's journey. I also volunteer in the prison ministry through my local church. I facilitate small group studies with incarcerated women at Homestead Correctional Institution. It is incredible to see the spiritual freedom and breakthrough the women experience. I count it a blessing to be a part of their growth and transformation!
Currently, I am an education supervisor with the Department of Corrections. Before this commitment, I was an educator for 17 years with Miami Dade County Public Schools. I have also engaged in community service with various faith-based organizations for numerous years. As I reflect on my contributions, I have learned that HUMILITY and GRACE are essential to changing lives. With humility and grace, New Footprints a New Future, Inc. will change the direction of our next generation.
I pray that you will consider volunteering or making a donation. Your kind generosity is appreciated. Thank you in advance for your support.