Empowerment Blog

The Prison to School Pipeline

This article highlights five individuals who are changing the statistics on the outcome of education for incarcerated individuals. Spelman College and University of Michigan Law School Alum GeDa' Jones Herbert is the site manager at Fresh Lifelines for Youth, a nonprofit that has a 12-week program for system-involved youth. Read about the great work that she and others are doing below, as they are the true definition of F.I.R.E.!

These five alumni—lawyers, educators, analysts—are working to improve the part of the pipeline that receives less attention: the one leading from incarceration back to the classroom. And from there—with some work—to a brighter future. 

CHRISTINA GRANT is assistant superintendent of Philadelphia's alternative schools and has placed a big bet on the power of career and technical education to improve life prospects for incarcerated youth. Will it pay off?

EMILY FOX is drafting an updated Juvenile Justice Local Action Plan for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families. 

GEDÁ JONES HERBERT teaches students about the law and how to navigate it, even in a system that often seems set up against them.

RACHEL BRADY is working to ensure incarcerated students with disabilities are receiving the same accommodations they would receive at school if they weren’t in custody. 

RAHEIM SMITH is a special education teacher in Brooklyn serving adolescents awaiting trial and those already sentenced to detention.

F.I.R.E. Celebrates Akilah Johnson

Today as I opened up Google to search the internet, their picture caught my attention. Immediately, I clicked on it and was drawn to read the article about the Google Doodle winner. As I was reading about the contest and Akilah Johnson, the winner, I immediately said to myself, she's a F.I.R.E.!

Akilah, a sophomore at Eastern Senior High School in Northeast Washington, D.C. unapologetically expressed her culturally rich lifestyle through art. She is an example of the mission of F.I.R.E. by being a Fearless Individual Resistant to Entrapment of being culturally muffled!

Happiness An Inside Job

Sometimes in life we harbor negative emotions, we magnify the little things, and simply get in our own way of being happy. This post is dedicated to individuals who need to get out of their own way from truly being happy which ultimately equates to embodying peace. 

This article lists 20 things a person needs to let go in order to truly be happy (click on Source below to read the article)

  1. The Approval of Others
  2. Anger/Resentment
  3. Negative Body Image
  4. Idea Of A Perfect Partner
  5. Perfect Life
  6. You're Going To Be Rich
  7. The Idea That Good Fortune Will Arrive At Your Doorstep
  8. Excuses
  9. Thoughts Of Your Ex
  10. Stubbornness
  11. Procrastination
  12. Your Baggage
  13. Negativity
  14. Judgmental Thoughts
  15. Jealously
  16. Insecurity
  17. Depending On Others For Happiness
  18. The Past
  19. The Need For Control
  20. Expectations

How to Forgive Yourself

Often times in life we ask others to forgive us for things we have done wrong; however, we miss a very important step, forgiveness of self. This step is vital because if you never forgive yourself then you will never truly be free. Below are 5 steps to being on the path of forgiving yourself and to read further click on Source below.

  1. Accept yourself and your flaws.
  2. Remember that you are not a bad person.
  3. Talk to someone (another perspective, social support, therapy).
  4. Talk to your internal voice.
  5. Do the best-friend test.