"Volunteering with Lion Life at the jail has been a transformational experience for both myself and for the incarcerated people I have been able to work with one-on-one. What started as an opportunity to help inmates learn so they could pass the General Education Development (GED) Test turned into a project more impactful than I could have ever imagined. I have seen both men and women regain hope for their futures and witnessed the priceless look on a student’s face when she learned the news that she earned her GED. This experience has more than exceeded my expectations. Since my first day, I have had the pleasure of helping them change their lives, while at the same time, allowing them to change mine as well. My life’s work, whether it be working as an attorney or helping people get their lives back on track, has been confirmed through this experience."
"I began my journey at Lion Life with an endless sea of “what am I going to do when I graduate?” As my GED training and compassion for incarcerated individuals intertwined, I began to see a plan in the distance. Working with individuals who decided it was time to take control of their lives and their future led me to a path of working in restorative justice. I am currently enrolled in a program that will help me gain the skills I need to help guide people away from incarceration and further toward a life of success, whatever that may be.
I could not write a true testimonial to my experience without mentioning the people who made this journey so much more than “teaching”. My friends, co-volunteers, and Brody have made this the experience of a lifetime. I have learned more about being a friend and a supporter to others than I could have ever imagined."
"Working at the Jail is a humbling experience. Many of the inmates were discouraged by the choices they made leading them into jail and had a negative outlook on the future they would endure. The GED program can be used as a leading definition of reducing recidivism, helping inmates remember that they have the choice to change. Some of the inmates I worked with were convinced that they were not good enough and not smart enough to obtain their GED. Comments such as “I am too old” or “I am not good at math” were the negative thoughts that consumed some of the inmates, but with time and practice they were able to succeed. Working with my supervisor Brody made for a collaborative and meaningful experience. While I excelled in math, Brody constantly helped me grow with my grammatical errors. Brody is an amazing leader, provides quality feedback, and allows one’s voice to be heard. The program was orderly and professional. For those looking for an enlightening experience, this is the program for you."