New Footprints a New Future, Inc. was established from my compassion for children that are affected by the incarceration of a parent. They face increase risk of psychological and behavioral problems. Research have 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 teenaged 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, upon graduating from high school I desired to become a lawyer. Instead of pursuing my dreams, I took an easier 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 Associates in Arts at Miami Dade Community College, a Bachelor's in Social Work at Florida International University and a Masters in Special Education at Florida Memorial University.
As years passed, the effects of an incarcerated parent hit home again when my youngest nephew's father was sentenced in the Florida prison system. For thirteen years their relationship has been through phone calls, mail, and contact visitations in prison. 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 amazing 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 educator with Miami Dade County Public Schools. I have taught elementary and middle school students for over 15 years. I have also engaged in community service with various faith-based organizations for countless years. As I reflect on my contributions, I have learned HUMILITY and GRACE. It is with humility and grace that New Footprints a New Future, Inc. will change the direction of our next generation.
I pray that you will consider volunteering and/or making a donation. Your kind generosity is appreciated. Thank you in advance for your support.