As a leader in the Kid C.A.T. group at CMC, Michael also served as a leader in the community at large. From facilitating a number of programs, Michael was also a canine handler, training puppies to be service dogs; he mentored a number of men around self awareness and insight, as well as preparing for the parole board; Michael was someone who was looked up to as living his life with integrity, respect (for self and others), and with a genuine capacity to be present. Michael was someone who was trusted in the community; other members would go to him for guidance and support.
Looking back at the day you were released, what can you remember feeling?
The day I was released, waiting to be released, everything felt surreal, I didn’t believe I was actually going to be released until I got on the van and taken to the East. I was definitely anxious, of the whole week leading up to being released. It definitely was an emotional roller coaster, extreme gratitude for the great welcoming I had upon release, just to see the friends who were there to support me.
What has been the most suprising thing about life, so far?
The support that I have received from family and friends, even from the staff at Mass Liberation. How fast things are. From prison to working at SoFi stadium.
What are you looking forward to/what are your goals for the near future?
I’m looking forward to traveling, my goal is to establish my self in work, to be able to have some financial security.
What has been the biggest highlight and struggle for you, so far?
Biggest highlights going to Disneyland, and a Dodger game. My biggest struggle was fighting my desire to work, I had to wait for a job that I wanted to do, and not a job I would get stuck in and be miserable. Driving is also a struggle for me I get very nervous driving. Having a ankle monitor for 90 days was rough it made me even more self conscious, I already thought people knew I was just getting out of prison, the monitor just made it worse.
What are you doing for work?
I work part time with Legends Hospitality, this is at SoFi stadium. As of December 5th I just started to work at Job Vision Success, helping system impacted community in seeking employment.
Anything else you'd like folks to know about you, your experiences?
I can’t help but be grateful to my experience with Kid C.A.T., the work we have done together has mentally and emotionally prepared me for what I have been experiencing since released.